Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Whither Education Policy? Regimentation or Creativity?

 I have a few simple questions that might help us understand where we are and where we are heading when it comes to education policy

 First is for the parents of school age children attending public schools in any portion of the United States. Please answer as honestly as you can

 What percentage of the changes in your school's pedagogy and curriculum, implemented in the last two years, have been designed to stimulate greater creativity in your child and nurture independent thinking?

)What percentage of those changes have led to greater regimentation, discipline and efforts to enforce mastery of a fixed body of knowledge?

Second is for teachers in public schools, once again in any portion of the United States

What percentage of the new protocols for teacher evaluation and student learning, and the professional development  that has accompanied them, have empowered you to be more creative and innovative in the classroom?

What percentage of those protocols have eroded your autonomy, undermined your ability to connect with your students, and made you doubt whether you wanted to stay in the profession?

If the overwhelming majority of the new policies undermine creativity, and encourage regimentation, in both students and teachers, what does that say about the future of civic life in the United States? What does it say about the kind of society we are becoming?

Are there elements of "fascism" in our current education policy and discourse, or is that too strong a word to apply to what is going on?

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