Are You Disrupting the System?

Will Richardson co-author of “Personal Learning Networks” – identifies 19 key issues for educators to challenge / consider in a 5 minute speech at a recent ISTE Ignite Session.

Many of these issues are raised frequently in curriculum and Professional Learning Team meetings, they form the basis of most our challenges in the classroom and to some extent contribute to why many teachers are feeling a little uncomfortable, even out of their depth and it “isn’t what we signed up for“.

“I heard it as  a call to all educators to stop putting up road blocks and open up the classrooms and allow learning to become powerful and impact the world” – Alison Anderson:

“It’s not about open book exams – it’s about OPEN NETWORK!”

 A lot of the issues raised are discussed, even argued about here at TC.  For example what is the role of a “set curriculum” – who decides what is learnt?  Students often know what they want to learn about and what is relevant to them…. but they don’t know what they don’t know and do not have the wisdom or experience in society as teachers do….   Where does standardised testing fit in?

How much of the current challenge we face around student performance (or as the system would call it “Failure Rate” / “Non-completion”) is related to the fact that our schooling needs to change fundamentally and drastically as it does not suit our clients?  How long can we hang on to the spattering of “compliance” to drive success?  Many of these decisions are to an extent out of our hands (we may need to consider advocating for change through our unions, board of teacher registrations, politicians…), but what can be addressed in our own classrooms?

Read More:

Will Richards on TEDx NYED:

Please share your thoughts and ideas below.

3 thoughts on “Are You Disrupting the System?

  1. All of these questions are the ones we don’t ask and need to. A lot of things that we do as teacher’s are are really good and a lot of things in our curriculum are important and useful to students, but there is a lot about the way our system is set up that we take for granted because that’s the system we went through and that’s the way it has always been.
    The better we get at asking the right questions about what we doo, and the more we are prepared to let go of things that we have always used and are good at, the quicker we will be able to start addressing our aims of student engagement and student learning.

  2. I have always been concerned about what is deemed to be the “success” of a school. Shouldn’t success be if a student obtains what they want. If a student wants to work at a supermarket or go to university and become a surgeon, aren’t they equally as important if that is what the individual wants? Each student is important and if they attain what they want as a result of (or despite) their education, isn’t that success.
    I am also concerned that at VCE we devalue some areas, therefore the talents of some students are not seen as important or as valuable as students taking other subjects.
    Every student is important and the success of an education system should be if a person has the necessary skills to be successful in life, where the person decides they are successful, not somebody far removed from the person.

  3. I like ‘D’s thoughts – whoever you are! Important questions about we what actually do in school – do we teach subjects, or students? Is learning done ‘to’ students or is it ‘for’ students?

    Ken Robinson write extensively about who we systematically value certain characterstics as being more important than others and the effects that this has on student efficacy and creativity, learning in schools and the broader society.

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