How to Overcome Politics & Limitations in Education
Are you deeply concerned about education? I am. Education systems are being reformed across the county, but it seems in many cases, the changes are driven by political and commercial interests. By people that don’t understand how real students learn and how great schools actually work.
There! I’m not afraid to say it!
These changes put up barriers for educators, and they’re having a damaging effect on our teachers and students. Teachers are stressed out and overwhelmed. They feel undervalued for this great job that has been bestowed upon them. And students are leaving our school systems discouraged, with the belief they are not “enough.”
I hear these stories from teachers time and again. And this is why I’m part of a movement to reinvent education in a big way. A way that honors and supports our students—and recognizes our teachers for giving everything they have to overcome insurmountable obstacles in educating our children.
What does “reinventing education” mean? I believe it means finding an approach that nurtures the diverse talents of ALL our children. It means giving each and every one of them opportunities to shine within their own particular skill set, while still helping them learn how to read well, do math, and write.
And it’s time we start listening to our teachers, too. Do we need to be challenged in our pedagogy? Absolutely! Do we need to look for ways to improve our usual ways of doing things? Of course! But we also need to acknowledge that teachers spend countless hours with our children and are firsthand witnesses to how kids best learn. Teachers possess valuable information, and it’s time to take their knowledge and put it to work making the system better.
I’ve focused my own efforts in reinventing and reinvigorating classrooms on two topics: Genius Hour and Growth Mindset. I’ve spent countless hours researching how these practices work, developing workshops on incorporating them into a school’s culture and helping teachers implement them at the classroom level.
The theories behind these practices aren’t necessarily radical, but the impact they have on the classroom experience certainly is. Genius Hour and Growth Mindset are bringing creativity, excitement, and achievement back to learning. But perhaps more importantly, they’re offering hope to both teachers and students at a time when it’s needed most.