Sometimes the things that need to be questioned the most, are the things we feel we’re least able to question. The parts of the education system that carry the guise of being ingrained, natural, and untouchable. Things that have “always been” and things that will “always be”.
– grade levels
But if we really want to pursue more agency for students and shift the current paradigm of education, then maybe these are the very things that we should be critically questioning, challenging and re-imagining.
Sometimes this is difficult to do because these human-created systems have seemed to almost calcify overtime to the point where it’s hard to figure out how to remove them, or change them.
But if we ask ourselves George Couros’ famous question…
(Image source – Principal of Change Blog)
… with the intent of creating a place that respects and supports each student’s agency as a learner and a human being and supports the processes of learning as they naturally occur… would those elements and structures be part of the design?
How can we stop seeing these elements as untouchables and start having critical conversations about:
the purpose they serve, or perhaps don’t serve…
the way they support learning, or perhaps inhibit learning…
the way the help students flourish, or perhaps prevent students from flourishing…
the impact they have, or perhaps their unintended side-effects...
I’m not saying that they’re all bad (or that any of them are bad) I’m just saying that making an informed choice as an education community about the structures and systems we choose to have to support learners and the process of learning, is very different than passively accepting elements of the educational paradigm that have been passed down, or passed off as “untouchable”.
Which “untouchable” elements of the current education paradigm do YOU think need to be critically questioned?