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Lead from the Start: think outside the bubble

Monday, March 31, 2008

think outside the bubble

Have you ever seen a kid learn something you weren't teaching them at the time? When did learning actually occur? Was it while you were teaching, when they were doing seat work, in your class discussion? Was it valuable? Might it help them later in life?

The paradigm we operate with in education today is entirely technical. Policy makers and the public believe that students learn what we teach them. Period. But what might they be learning while we are busy trying to teach them to pass a test? If we only look for student achievement in relation to what we have taught we might never talk about the elephant in the room, that kids might not need everything we are teaching them. Or, kids might be able to learn some things that could be essential to their lives, if we only stopped paying so much attention to those test scores. If we become aware of what happens outside of the mind control testing we might see what is really happening in our students' lives.

This is what the post-positivist paradigm has brought us to in education. We have become bean counters. On TLN a teacher in New York has been discussing hourly measurable objectives. Yes, hourly. Can you imagine what that is like? Measuring ... constantly. Maybe it only bothers me because I am in preschool where the standards have only begun to quantify our students' learning. When we focus on quantity what do we sacrifice in quality? This is what testing has wrought, a world where nobody is looking at what really matters, kids lives.

Think outside the bubble ...

p.s. This video is based on some visual cognition research done at the University of Illinois. Check it out, its fascinating. As an avid road cyclist and commuter I am asking you to please take this public service announcement to heart while you are driving to work. You could save a life.

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At 10:13 PM, Blogger The Tablet PC In Education Blog said...

I like your style! Thanks for your generally positive approach. s

A gentle reminder, measuring preschool academic behavior has over a 40 legacy, starting with second by second monitoring (some call it testing) and teaching adjustment until students meet learning criteria.

Granted, not all preschools require such content or monitoring, but the templates exist for those who choose to use them.

I've found them fun to use with such young learners.


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