Of course, my post is late…I swear I spent a lot of time thinking about just how I wanted to frame this very important imagination process. You will have to forgive me for the delay, I am currently in Vietnam on part of my four month Asia adventure and technically I wasn’t supposed to be working, but when I heard about this project there was no way I was going to miss out. So I am writing this blog poolside
What can we do for the education system in 2 years?
A whole lot!
I am always on the side of great imagination; trying and learning from mistakes than on the side of precaution and excuses. I know that the skeptism comes from somewhere and often the concerns are extremely valid, however I wonder how many things in the world were designed, invented, recreated or discovered by the cautious? I think 2 years is loads of time to try out all the great ideas that have already been generated here and all the ideas to follow. Of course each idea needs thought and collaborators, but together we are setting the movement forward.
I love the many ideas about classrooms without textbooks, re-examining the assessment structures, having coaches instead of lecturers, but mostly I am just excited to see the variety of ideas. Above all else I am ecstatic to see a variety of voices engaged in the conversation. I am not a certified teacher but a community educator, last year I started the Bad Kids Collective as a way to make space for discussion about the education system beyond teachers and the Ministry of Education to the community, the students, and the parents!
Now, to my actual proposed idea. Creating space for change. This space takes on many forms, it starts with allowing space for the voices, many opinions and vantage points – the time and energy it takes to actually welcome these voices can be trying, but it NEEDS to happen. And then there is the physical space, I wrote a blog a while ago called, Breaking Down School Walls, which talks about my feelings as an “outsider” walking into a public school. Schools are a place for curiosity, daily adventures, getting into trouble and learning from your mistakes; it is a place to keep you safe as you grow and change. What does that safety look like? Does it actually feel safe to students? To parents? To community members?
I propose taking a hard look at the learning environment we are creating. I know I don’t learn well in spaces where I feel confined, like I am constantly being watched, or where my voice is the least heard. I imagine schools where you can choose where you learn to address different learning styles, where classrooms are mixed by interests, vibrancy of learning is radiating from everyone in the place and the ideas are the writing on the walls.
I know there are at least a few people reading this cringing, hopefully a few who are intrigued and even more so who would want to join me on this adventure. I look forward to hearing ALL the points of view and even more so to actually prototyping it.