Back to the Future of Education

I try to make it a habit to participate in edchats whenever possible for two reasons:

  1. It helps me to stay ‘plugged in’.  Most of the time, I genuinely enjoy the chat.  Even if I don’t agree with most of what’s being said, the vibe of it all has a nice energy.  Although, I believe there is a negative correlation between the reliability/validity of a tweet and the number of exclamation points contained in the tweet.
  2. It give me an opportunity to be an advocate for what I believe is a best way of teaching in the high school classroom.  Rarely, if ever, am I in a majority with my beliefs.  More often than not the chat centers around technology, cultivating relationships in the classroom, or the use of project-based/inquiry-based instruction.  While I am certainly in favor of using technology in the classroom when necessary and I do agree that a positive relationship between teacher and student is beneficial, I am quite opposed to project/inquiry based learning.  Here’s a great post from The Learning Scientists (@acethattest) providing information and resources that back my beliefs.

Last week, while participating in a chat, the following question was posed: What barriers stop teachers from exercising their beliefs in the classroom?  I responded with something like “being in the minority with my opinions and beliefs.”  This prompted a lot of people to respond with “stand up for what you think is right” and I even got the “the most dangerous phrase in the language is we’ve always done it this way” image tweeted back at me.

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Let me remind you that I’m in the middle of a chat surrounding the use of project-based or inquiry-based learning.  These well-meaning teachers assume I am being undermined in my want to apply their style of teaching…but I don’t.  I want to do quite the opposite.  I want to revolutionize the classroom in a different way…with evidence.  Evidence of what works and what improves students’ learning.  In my estimation, this requires direct or evidence based instruction and whole classroom instruction.  I would like to go back to the future of educating.  Basically, I am the first student in 7th grade to discover this awesome old band named U2 that my peers know nothing of.  In other words, I think the future of learning and teaching should be centered around some aspects of what has worked in the past.  

And before you think I must be some heartless sage on the stage that only cares about my craft and nothing of my students’ well-being, read these past posts:

Cultivating Compassion in the Classroom…and Everywhere Else

https://theeffortfuleducator.com/2017/06/22/cultivating-compassion-in-the-classroom-and-everywhere-else/

11 Life Lessons to End the Term

https://theeffortfuleducator.com/2017/04/30/11-life-lessons-to-end-the-term/

On My Soapbox

https://theeffortfuleducator.com/2017/03/28/on-my-soapbox/

To the Student Sleeping in My Class

https://theeffortfuleducator.com/2017/03/06/to-the-male-student-sleeping-in-my-class/

Where is education headed?  Will we prepare our students for the jobs they’ll have that don’t yet exist?  I hope we will, but I also know I cannot accurately predict that future…and no one else can either.  I do believe, to make the most impact on our students’ learning which will then greater influence their abilities, evidence-based instruction is necessary.  

So, I will continue with the edchats.  I will fight what I see to be the good fight.  Even if I am in the minority with my beliefs on instruction, it is a worthy cause.  And who knows, maybe one day I’ll become popular with the cool kids like Bono.  

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7 thoughts on “Back to the Future of Education

    1. Thank you for the comment. I just read through your article and immediately felt like I was in most professional development I encounter today…not too much substance, but you leave feeling great about yourself.

      Like

      1. You feel great about yourself if you’re in the majority. The only reason I felt good when I left that ed camp was because 1) it was over and 2) I had enough material to write an article. Which I then did.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. karamath

    Hi Effortful Educator,

    I saw you tweeting about blogging and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like Effortful Educator has come a long way!

    You should consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast or something, theres loads of good free ones.

    Keep making great stuff!

    Like

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