Thursday, April 19, 2007

Breathing underwater

I once read a book by that title I think. Scott MacLeod recently commented that we are fighting a losing battle. We are trying to involve students, parents, & teachers in employing web2.0 tools. He claims, and I agree, that we cannot persuade parents nor teachers that engaging students in learning in better than baby-sitting students in factory warehouses. We all want power over our niche, wherever that might be found. We do not feel comfortable releasing the reigns to any other individual, much less to a group or consensus. Yet doing just that and using all the tools at our disposal will spawn creativity, induce engagement, and signify autonomy. I observe that the parents of high school students and those students themselves expect us to play by the rules. Those unspoken, unwritten rules state that school is a play-factory where absence excuses one from assignments, where misbehavior is admissible, where grades are not earned but given, where learners have no accountability.
Where the stake-holders are open to change, the new paradigms will inundate the old patterns. This is happening in Middle Schools and elementary schools right now. Perhaps because those students and parents are not so rigidly rooted in the industrial age paradigm.
so what will it take from us, the bloggers, the educators, to effect change? What is our responsibility in this scenario?
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