Broken Chalkboards

(Why chalkboards and not the current, quintessential whiteboard? I’m not sure; I think it has something to do with this odd love affair with nostalgia. )

Our schools are broken.

Even if you see the gleaming white city upon a hill, backed by wonderful and miraculous test scores and graduation rates, you still have to admit.

Our schools are broken.

And I don’t mean just a small crack in the soft exterior, or a clean break through a noncritical component. I mean a real mess of mistakes, spiderwebbing throughout the very foundation of education as we know today.

There are so many things wrong with our school that I’m not sure where to start, but in all hopes of full disclosure, I’ll try to just “start from the beginning, and keep going until [I] reach the end.”

Divided into parts because it became too long to handle. Hopefully I’ll have all of these thoughts onto paper before I die on May 1st.

Part 1: Tests.

Part 2: Rant.

Part 3: What Next?

Part 4: Teaching

Part 5: Score Shaming

Part 6: Get Smart

Part 7: Gift. Ed.

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3 thoughts on “Broken Chalkboards

  1. From Tanvi on Facebook:

    What always bothered me about the education system was that when discussing with a partner in class, they would know specific content but never be able to get the big picture or why it mattered. They couldn’t draw connections and they never understood the context of what they were learning, so I would have to explain all of this to them. What would happen was that they would always scorer higher than me on the tests… I do understand content is essential to a subject, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t do anything with it, right? Sometimes it seems our education is solely geared towards cramming in all the information for AP tests; I guess in that sense I like IB tests a little better because I feel like they’re more interested in the implications and importance of what you’re learning. Maybe that’s partially the reason students always ask “when will we ever use this?” as an excuse not to care/take a class– because you’re never really taught much application. Another thing I noticed was that when you say you’re going to take a particularly difficult class, students always react with “OMG THAT’S CRAZY why would you put yourself through that?!” Example: AP Chem. I don’t think I know anyone who has taken that class and hasn’t enjoy it. When kids are avoiding the useful/hard/interesting/challenging classes offered just to protect their GPA, doesn’t that really say something about the school system? I understand that not all students are capable of taking some of the more challenging classes offered, but if you’re going out of your way to keep your GPA at a good point without even attempting something that could be a possible career option for you or just something you really enjoy learning about, what’s the point of school then? Kind of on a tangent, but it’s some food for thought.

  2. i agree with you! We have been touring the country asking students how they would reinvent education http://www.facebook.com/imagininglearning

    Young People’s ideas about how to transform education are amazing and showcase the wide range of possible ways education can look in the future. Known of them like like tests, seat time or learning just for the sake of filling out your resume.

    Love to share this video with you and love to hear your thoughts.

    http://www.incited.org/projects/13

    David Loitz
    seed steward of Imagining Learning
    dloitz@gmail.com

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