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REBELS Day

Today is REBELS Day. The day for Reforms from Educational Bloggers Links of Educational Suggestions.

So here are my thoughts on education reform.

Parents know their children out of school, and not as students. Politicians have no idea about students, they don’t live near students and have never met them, or at least in nothing more than stage-managed visits. Senior management in schools and educational organisations don’t know students, for most of the same reasons as politicians. Educational quangos are in the same boat as most politicians, but at least some of them have met a student. In fact, noone knows students better than their teacher.

It stands to reason that the best people to reform education are those that know it best – the students and the teachers.

What are the challenges to be faced if students and teachers lead the reform?

  1. Risk – who will take the risk of handing over reform to the students and teachers?
  2. Budgets – who will happily release their control of the educational budget to students and teachers?
  3. Participation – what happens if the teacher or student doesn’t participate?
  4. Failure – what if it doesn’t work?

These are massive risks, and risks that I don’t think anyone currently in control would be happy to take. The only reform that is likely to take place is in microcosm, where a teacher or teacher-student partnership takes control of whatever happens in the classroom. Wide scale policies can’t work due to inconsistency amongst the teaching populace and the student populace. No two schools are the same, no two teachers are the same and no two students are the same.

For these reasons, the politicians can talk about reform all they want, but it won’t work. Any reform will work for some, but exclude others, on a massive scale. The only reform that can work, without causing massive harm is in the individual classroom, where individuals take risks, innovate, reflect and adjust their practice.

Change comes from individuals, not policy, and by individuals selflessly sharing with others.

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Categories: teaching
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  1. October 23, 2010 at 4:01 am

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