Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Advice for Teachers

Why are teachers afraid to declare that they know more about education than the general public?

So often I hear about schools kowtowing to parents or politicians who want more homework or more testing or test prep at younger ages. But we know what is best for kids. We have data. We have case studies. We have the examples of other countries that have tried different models. In fact, in the US we have fifty different educational systems to study, not to mention private schools and charters.

So why don't teachers and administrators seem to have the ability to tell parents and politicians about these facts?

If someone says you should assign more homework, ask them why. What are their goals? What kind of homework? Explain why you do what you do, and ask them to provide reasons (evidence-based reasons would be best) for why you should change.

If someone says that testing is important, find out what evidence they have that the test is valid. Explain that testing takes up class time and ask how they will account for that time. Show them the assessments you currently use and explain why they work.

If someone says your kindergarteners should spend less time playing, explain that playing is the way children learn at that age. Show them the learning that takes place in your classroom, and ask for evidence that the worksheets (or whatever) they want you to use are more effective at teaching math than block play.

It is the job of teachers to teach the public about education. You are the experts. You really do know more about kids and education than most parents and politicians. Act like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment