No Excuses for Teachers Unwilling or Unable to Change

MindMake – Paul Henderson

I want to highlight several developments that I think are extremely important in education generally, and that will make laziness, incompetence and irresponsibility among teachers rare.

Firstly, I notice with relief that there has been a shift in policy away from a naive belief that children are blank slates and that we can dump stuff in front of them that they assimilate—the sort of thinking that lies behind handouts or notes on a board, copied from an irrelevant textbook. I like the sense that we need to carefully identify markers in learning and understanding, and then help students navigate their way through these, like movement across sunlit water.

I like, too, the growing literature among policy writers that questions the need for strict regulations on contact time (hours taught per week), calendar days and school holidays (a throwback to times when children harvested crops with the family), and for the need to meld together student age and school grade (K-12).

But best of all, I like the dawning realisation that technology will revolutionise, indeed is already revolutionising education. Particularly with regard to assessment—one of the three pillars in education (curriculum; teaching and learning; assessment). Read More