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Lead from the Start: Are We "The Real World"

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Are We "The Real World"

My buddy from TLN, Bill Ferriter, asked what is it about school that makes people refer to it as, not the "real world."
Here was my ressponse.

Are we "The Real World?"
I think that this refers to the fail safe nature of schools. In school, students are expeceted to make mistakes and not necessarily have to pay consequences especially if they learn from the mistake.THe merit scholar who forgets to do a term paper because of a big weekend might get a second chance in school. A teacher who fails to meet their students needs might be given another chance. (year after year)
I think there is a sense of limited consequenses in the world of school. In the "real world" if you don't show up to work at an hourly job on time on a daily basis, eventually you will lose that job.
However, this is really a double standard because after leaving the fail safe world of schools, students often find that all the "rules of the real world" they were being prepared for in schools don't acually apply.
Often I hear complaints about the nature of teacher prep and how it doesn't prepare future teachers for the "real world" of teaching. (funny huh?) But, when I have asked academics about this the response is, "My job is not prepare teachers for reality, my job is to get education as close to utopia as I can through the teachers I send into the world." Essentially, why create more of the same when you can send teachers out to have their heart broken because the world is not what it should be?
I don't know where I stand except that I like the rules in the pretend world of education better than in the "real world" The world of education is definitely more fair than the real world. In the world of education I can go compare myself to the standards of the NBPTS, find out I meet them and jump start my career. In the real world, there is no National Board for Artists who want to make a living. It is all about persistence, connections, if people "like" what you do, "get" what you are saying, if you have the "cool" factor, and luck. How much in education is left up to pure luck? (Hey Bill, sort of sounds like policy making doesn't it)


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