Saturday, November 1, 2008

Challenging the Assumptions Upon Which Decades of Uninspired "Ed Reform" Are Based

Longtime educator/administrator/author/thinker Marion Brady offers a challenge to the archaic standards and accountability movement that dominates education policymaking. Check out his refreshing and mind opening ideas at his website. And he has just offered online what he sees as a rough draft of an alternative general education curriculum based on systems theory rather than fragmented academic subjects. Check it out, it's free! His vision and ideas are at the very least well worth thinking about. Could it be we've been boxed up in such narrow thinking that we haven't realized powerful alternatives exist?

Just a couple of intriguing statements from Marion:

"Covering the content" – Forget this too. It hasn’t been possible since the
Enlightenment, and the assumption that it should be done (or at least attempted)
is naive and destructive. It’s best to see it for what it is–dynamic, constantly
changing, never equally appropriate for all students, and with the possible
exception of a tiny fraction of it, not worth storing in memory. Choose from it
what helps explain and elaborate the sense-making process. That process is the
main content.

Pacing – The whole idea of a "pacing guide" is ridiculous, a futile attempt
to standardize the unstandardizable. If you’re trying to help learners
understand something really important, there’s no point in moving on to a second
idea until they understand the first, even if that takes days, weeks, months. IS
tries to lay out the whole of the "liberal education" ball of wax, so don’t rush
it. Take as long as it takes.

Just keep an open mind, ponder the possibilities of what education could be, and enjoy a breath of fresh air...

Thank you Marion.

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