Stop the Pretending to #makeschooldifferent

In the meme, 5 Things We Have to Stop Pretending, Jeanne Reed points out the following:

What should we stop pretending is good in education? What are 5 things that I can help change to improve learning outcomes for students?

1. Coaching each student or staff member at their level not to a fictious middle level, #PBL, #differentiation, #noStaffLeftBehind
2. Reaching each student to become better digital citizens, #digitalCitizenship #global 
3. Encouraging kids to find their passion and don’t give up, #joyOfLearning
4. Making time for collaboration, #teamwork
5. Embracing the chaos where students find a new gear that they never even knew they had, #makerEd, #kidsCanCode

Here is my list of 5 Things We Have to Stop Pretending in education to #makeschooldifferent:

We have to stop pretending that…

  1. Teachers can actually teach in ways described by the Classroom Learning Activity Rubric while preparing children for high stakes assessments. They can’t, and their failure makes technology embedding all the more difficult. A quick review of what is expected:
  1. Active Learning: All students are authentically, and actively engaged in the learning process nearly all of the time, including the use of technology. 
  2. Authentic Assessment: Task is effectively matched to learning outcomes, audience has been defined and selected to match learning outcomes, and reflects real-world application of learning.
  3. Classroom Management: Teacher(s) is/are actively aware of what all students are doing, and interacting with students as they work (pushing their thinking). 
  4. Cooperative Learning: All students work inter-dependently, clearly focused on achieving joint expectations, taking the initiative to innovate on assignment.
  5. Differentiation: This takes place in the areas of content, process, and product.
  6. Technology: Learning activities are “remix”ed and designed in ways that would not be possible to accomplish without technology.     
  • The Oasis of Teachers Twittering Transformatively is changing schools; it’s not and we are wasting our efforts on proselytizing the power of social media to transform schools structures and systems. Instead, we need to focus on “old time” integration efforts that can, and let loose of Web 2.0 fads and useless app acquisition frenzies.
  • Schools today are setup for collaboration, both for teachers and students. Although technology facilitates collaboration, collaboration remains an irrelevant add-on to high stakes testing. What hypocrisy that we preach collaboration but then require our children to solve problems alone on a test. We need to embrace collaboration as a way of learning together, working together for productivity and information problem-solving.
  • The latest book on leadership, transformation, Web 2.0, grading practices will reform an education system. In truth, those timid, half-hearted reforms grasped at like straws in the midst of a barn whose doors are locked, with legislators setting it on a gas-powered fire so they can rebuild it in their own profit-driven false image will yield nothing.
  • Curriculum leaders and technologists will magically collaborate to transform classrooms when item #1 on this list hasn’t happened yet. 
  • Throw these 5 pretences at change away. Instead, embrace the power that lies within you to set yourself on fire…

    Reflecting on this blog entry: This entry didn’t come out as well as i’d hoped. The first part sounds quite bitter, and the second part is…uninspiring. Oh well.

    Update: You are encouraged to listen to Today in Digital Education (TIDE), a creation of Doug Belshaw and Dai Barnes, that make certain remarks about this blog entry.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    5 thoughts on “Stop the Pretending to #makeschooldifferent

    1. Sr.Mary April 27, 2015 at 12:20 am Reply


    2. Anne Jenks April 27, 2015 at 12:49 am Reply

      I think your post was relevant and inspiring. You really nailed it when you spoke of preaching collaboration and then making kids work in isolation.

    3. Scott McLeod April 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm Reply

      Awesome list, Miguel. I particularly love #2!

      Thanks for participating!

    4. Linda Linn April 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm Reply

      You've nailed it! How can we expect students to collaborate when educators aren't given time to do the same?!

    5. Mary McBeth April 27, 2015 at 6:42 pm Reply

      You are always right on! Thanks for again… taking the time to write this and share~

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