I am following Kelly Tenkely on twitter. She is a technology teacher from the Denver area with a passion for kids and learning! Her writings and postings will cause you to take a second look at what is happening in education today - her chosen passionate profession.
From her new blog Dreams of Education March 24, 2010 A Vanilla Education
The focus of schools today really isn’t learning. The focus is standardizing the student population. What we are left with is an educational system that is vanilla. Don’t get me wrong, vanilla has its place in the world. Vanilla makes an excellent base, you can add almost anything to it and it is only enhanced. But we aren’t really enhancing it with anything are we? We are stopping at vanilla. We are standardizing learning until each of our students is popped out the other end looking exactly the same. This isn’t really what this global, connected society calls for, is it? What it calls for is innovation and creativity, anything but vanilla. Yet in our schools, we strip it all away and pass students through making sure that they reach certain standards and pass certain tests. Where is the individualization, the flavor?
It seems to me, that in this world where everything else can be individualized, education should be individualized as well......... Standardizing is not the answer in education. We don’t need a group of people who can do exactly the same thing, the same way. We need a society that has many talents. I am afraid that right now we are losing the great talent to standards. Students don’t feel that they measure up, so they give up and drop out. It isn’t that they aren’t brilliant and don’t measure up somewhere, they just don’t fit in the standardized school box. These kids are still getting “Left Behind”.
With the tools we have available to us today, how could we begin to offer customized learning?
Thank you Kelly for this thought provoking post.