Prolific writer and vocal advocate for educational reform Alfie Kohn has just published a new collection of essays under the banner of “Feel – Bad Education”. His introduction , “Well, Duh!: Obvious Truths That We Shouldn’t Be Ignoring” sets the tone for the text. In the introduction Alfie lists some commonly agreed beliefs about education such as “Much of the material that students are required to memorize is soon forgotten.” He then challenges teachers – if we hold these beliefs, why is it that our core understandings of educational realities are not in evidence in our schools?
Rather than summarise the section here I have prepared a brief slide show that can be accessed here.
There are real challenges for educators in these assumptions. If we accept them as valid, and I believe that almost all teachers will, the next question we should ask ourselves is why our schools don’t actually reflect them strongly. Then comes the real challenge – to implement educational processes that demonstrate our beliefs in reality, not just rhetoric.
(NB: The show does not auto-start and will commence with a black screen – click the start arrow to begin, thereafter it is automatic and lasts about one minute. It was designed to share with pre-service teachers in a lecture situation and I wanted to keep control of the starting time. Also, there is no audio – the program used to create the slide show does allow for audio to be embedded in each slide – but not the creation of a continuous backing track.)