“Changing Education Paradigms” and Considering Students and Myself

This video is not directly connected to grading or why we become teachers, but within it are many ideas that I consider when I think about myself as a teacher. I think about the way that education is changing and how I would like to change particular things myself. There is so much I could say, and would love to discuss if you should find anything in the video or my blog that is of interest, but I am going to focus on one major theme. It comes from the part in the video (beginning around 1 minute in).

While setting up the reason schools need to change, Sir Ken Robinson talks about the changing future and the result of current education paradigms. He says that students getting degrees are especially less likely to be guaranteed a job “if the route to it marginalizes most of the things that you think are important about yourself”. This quote makes me consider many aspects of my teaching philosophy. Particularly, how much I value student diversity and all of the things that make up who they are and who they want to be.

The reason I wanted to be a teacher, was for a few reasons. As a child school was one of my favourite places to be and I have always loved to learn new things, it was a career that could also allow me to continue my other passion of writing, and finally, amidst my love for education I saw its flaws and it stung me. I want to share the beauty of education, which brings me back to changing education paradigms and ensuring students aren’t forced to marginalize the things they value about themselves.

There are two major areas I have tried to focus on. First, I want grading to take a back seat to assessment. I want to assess more holistically, with differentiation and heaps of non-evaluative feedback. People have become dependent on grades and too often they make us believe they define us. I think this is a part of marginalizing the parts we like about ourselves. If those parts aren’t worth grading or if they don’t receive a good mark, then they aren’t good. It’s not a good way to think. Secondly, I want more student-centered learning. I want more inquiry. I want students to have a voice and be able to bring the things they like about themselves into their learning. I believe these are two steps forward. I don’t have all the answers and I will make mistakes, but I will always be trying to improve.

What do you think?

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