Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Souless standardization or creativity?

Knowledge society -learning schools Posted by Hello

Our latest newsletters, posted on our site, features a summary of challenging ideas from the above book.

A few quotes will give you a taste.

At a time we need to re-invent education for a knowledge society, ‘schools are becoming obsessed with imposing and micromanaging curricular conformity …. and soulless standardization’ and, as a result, teachers are becoming ‘the drones and clones of policy makers anemic ambitions.’

Teachers have been ‘sidelined and are suffering from eroded autonomy.’

The ‘knowledge society’ has replaced the ‘industrial age’ but schools are ‘still run by clocks and bells, period and classes…the regulations of factories, monasteries and self perpetrating bureaucracies provide young people with poor preparation.’

The reforms we have all been through have had no place for ‘the experience of spontaneity of joy, of lives lived in ways that are vibrant and fulfilling’…’those distant from the classroom tend to neglect emotional dimensions…no time is given to creativity, imagination, and relationships'. 'For all those things that fuel the passion to teach.’

Schools have become obsessed with keeping up appearances’. ‘In such energy draining climate teachers work in fear of the next capricious soulless initiative and suffer from performance anxiety’…and too often this ‘reaches into teachers’ health’.

Teachers have a choice 'to be a catalyst…or a causality of change’

Instead of ‘top down’ changes schools need to be more flexible and ‘free the talents and energy of the teachers.

Teachers are not 'delivers of curriculums' but 'developers of learners'.

'All students should have the opportunity to reach their highest and most creative levels.'

If we don’t reinvent schools for a learning society ‘insecurity or worse will be all we have and no less than we serve’
he concludes.

Good stuff but who is listening at the Ministry?


Anonymous said...

Although I am totally in agreement with Hargreaves my own experience with secondary teachers is that they either do not have the will nor the skill to reinvent schools, and indeed, really think they are OK as they are - the only problems are the learners who refuse to learn.

Before you 'reinvent' schools we need to 'reinvent' teachers. They should be paid by how enthusiastic the students are to attend their classrooms. Now that would be 'market forces'! It would however create the sense of urgency to get teachers to face up the fact that both they, and their schools are well past their 19C use by date.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with anonymous more!

Anonymous said...

Schools are 'stuffed' in both senses of the word. And teachers too distracted by trivia to do much about it.

Anonymous said...

It all seems so obvious, so ,why don't things change? Teachers too busy just coping to challenge, or lacking leadership? Probably both.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the Ministry listen to people like Hargreaves - he is worth a 100 of their policy analysts.