Are we creating cars or are we teaching are kids how to grow, learn, be inventors, or most importantly to think for themselves and be creative. As we have added a multitude of tests, mandated reading and writing blocks are we taking away from the creative process of teaching and learning? That’s what it looks like from my vantage point.
We are teaching to the tests because that is what the local school board, the state and the federal government are looking at for Adequate Yearly Progress. Our kids are being asked to learn the test, not be creative. They are becoming machines, clones, a car that knows the same thing, does the same thing. Where do you add podcasts, wiki’s, blogging, all forms of collaborate learning when you are restricted to blocks and what you are supposed to teach? Where do you fit the technology in when you have to teach to a test that leaves creativity out? David Warlick makes an interesting point along these lines in is 2 cents worth blog…
I frequently use a manufacturing model to describe our education system. Our students roll down the assembly line where we install math on them, and we install reading, and science, and social studies, and at the end of the line our quality control engineers measure each product to make sure that it complies with the blueprints — to make sure that every student knows exactly the same things. Source: 2 Cents Worth » Becoming the Machine
It might be nice that our kids should know the same things, but it doesn’t allow for the genius of creativity or expression of different ideas. Growth dies in a system that you standardize. The United States will never gain a place as one of the best educated nations by producing clones. Children are not machines that should be run down the assembly line of k-12 education. Teachers need the freedom to choose creative lessons within a loose framework of guidelines and expectations for student progress. We are going to lose more ground to other nations if we continue down the road of standardization in teaching and mandated testing.
That’s what I think….What about you?