The other day my daughter asked me, “Why can our teachers chew gum and we can’t?” I didn’t have an answer because, to be honest, I have no idea. It got me thinking about so many rules and procedures that we have put in place for kids (and adults) that are more conducive to the game of school than actual learning and can hinder us from developing the empowered learners that our world needs.
Here are a few that stand out:
- Students are provided their own laptops, yet cell phones are banned.– see this great post by Jennifer Casa-Todd.
- We want students to be global citizens, yet block their access to youtube (and other important sites).
- We open up access to digital resources but create (and print) static “digital textbooks.”
- We know no two students are alike but assess them the same.
- We require students to memorize facts when they can Google them (and do something with the information instead).
- We take away opportunities for autonomy, purpose, and mastery and complain learners (teachers and students) aren’t motivated. Check out Dan Pink’s Ted Talk– or anything else by him if you haven’t already.
- We base school on assignments and grades when most of us learn more when we share with the world the impact we have made.
To steal a line from Alanis Morissette- Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
I’m looking forward to reading all the #IMMOOC posts this week that take a look at what we need to rethink in our practices to ensure we prioritize learning over school.