American Education Week - November 14-20
Needed: A New Model of Pedagogy
The film Waiting for Superman has sparked heated discussion about the failures of the U.S. public school system, and more broadly with public education everywhere. The movie argues that teachers are at the center of the problem and that the solution is charter schools.
But it’s wrong to blame teachers, who are usually a) underpaid, and b) striving to do the best with the limited resources they are given. Nor does the research show that charter schools achieve better outcomes. The root of the malaise in our schools is the outmoded model of pedagogy. Teachers and text books are assumed to be the source of knowledge. Teachers “teach” – they impart knowledge to their students, who through practice and assignments learn how to perform well on tests.
This is the very best model of pedagogy that 18th century technology can provide. It’s teacher-centered model that is one way, one-size-fits-all and the student is isolated in the learning process. It’s time for a rethinking of the entire model of learning. We need to move to a customized and collaborative model that embraces 21st century learning technology and techniques. This is not about technology per se – it’s about a change in the relationship between the student and teacher in the learning process.
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