Human nature - why sometimes we should fight to ignore it...

I will preface this post by saying I am only 15 pages into the book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, by Diane Ravitch. Despite not being too far along in this book, I feel empowered to share my experiences thus far.

In my short 5 years in education I have learned many things, however for
this post I will concentrate on just one. There is one thing for
certain in education...and that is, there is nothing certain in education. The
education system in America has been going through, and will continue
to go through a process of change. Ironically enough, this process of
change is continuing to change and evolve. What we started with just a
mere 5 years ago, is now something completely different. If you talk to
an educator who has 30 years of experience in education, you would be
amazed to hear all of the different trends and changes that have taken
place over the last 30 years. Unfortunately, for better or worst, many
of these trends and changes have changed, stayed way too long, or
completely died. How can such an important piece to our democratic
society be in such a constant state of turmoil? There is one thing to
blame...human nature.

As humans, we are wired to adapt and change. Throughout the existence
of mankind we have evolved and transformed our way of life, and because
of our ability to adapt and evolve we have not just survived, but we
have thrived. As with many strengths, there is also a downside.
Specifically with education, we are constantly looking to change and
transform the educational process for the better. Because of human
nature we tend to jump on board with any idea or proposal that claims to
solve all of our educational problems. Human nature is jumping on the
train before asking if it is the right train, or checking to see where
the train is going.

By no means am I advocating we ignore change and educational reform, but
rather I would advocate taking a step back and really evaluating new
ideas and measures before implementing them. I think we should use the
quality over quantity approach when addressing educational issues and
ways to improve. We should use caution and ask as many questions as
possible before using classrooms and students as guinea pigs. We should
take risks, but take calculated risks that have really weighed the
potential benefits and costs of such measures. I am 100% for
innovation, creativity, transformation, and any other type of
progressive change that can improve our education system. If we have
analyzed all the available data and information while considering and
including all stakeholders, we will be doing what is in the best
interests of the students.

"If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our of comfort zone"

John Maxwell

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Tags: agent, change, collaboration, education, educational, implementation, of, program, reform

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