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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"We will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age."

President Obama, I have bad news for you. You will not be able to do that. Here is who will stop you:

1. The testing industry does not want change.

2. The teacher's unions do not want change.

3. The textbook publishers do not want change.

4. University professors do not want change.

What they all want, and they are very powerful, is continue to make money and have lives unencumbered by notions that we are teaching the wrong stuff in the wrong way. It is only the students who want and need change. They need meaningful, enjoyable, experiences that prepare them for employment. The school system has never been about employment. They will not get the change they need because those in charge of the system would have to give up on what they now do and do something completely different. Really- how often does that happen?


doctormark said...

The system will not change; the system cannot change. The only hope is to go outside the system and create an attractive economically viable alternative.

The students want change. Their parents want change. Their prospective employers want change.

The system is corrupt, bloated, ineffective, over-charging and under-serving a huge and dissatisfied market. It simply cannot be so difficult, given the cost-effectiveness of today's technology, to create a better alternative.

Federico Gomez-Uroz said...

As always, we lack the most necessary: brave people. If teachers do not realize that they are planting the seeds of their own extinction, we can just say that they are blind. How funny: the blind teaching the apathetic.

The only way to change, as always it is everyday resistance to all those almighty forces in education. But how are we going to do this alone? Maybe it's time to start using the new social networks to get organized. But, as with our students, maybe the only thing we like about this new technologies is that they numb us with entertainment and overload of information. It's cheaper than beer and funnier than TV. Who could resist?