View the EDTECH Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in EDTECH's May 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in EDTECH's May 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the EDTECH home page.
James - Great ideas . To everyone --- ed.gov has a new Innovations web portal ... anyone can post ideas and see what takes hold. Well worth checking out. I suspect that at least some of the ideas people post here will help shape both policy and grant opportunities. https://innovation.ed.gov/ Mike On 5/15/2010 11:02 AM, James Lerman wrote: > Marion, > I have followed your work for a number of years and wish to congratulate you > on constructing perhaps your most succinct and tightly packed statement to > date. Wonderfully done. > > If I may, I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts stimulated by your > important work: > > 1. You perform an outstanding service in pointing out with crystal clarity > how "the emperor has no clothes," or more specifically, how the emperor's > garments do not effectively perform the function for which they were > designed. > As one who shares your veiws and has benefited from reading your work over > time, and has even corresponded with you occasionally, I have been struck > by, and deeply motivated to begin to seek to find and build alternatives to > the monolith about which you write so well. And I find them...all over the > place. Not unified or uniform, not particularly widespread and brought to > scale, but in books, articles, personal visits, videos, properly structured > recognition programs for school excellence, etc. There are thousands and > thousands of brilliant educators, and their supports, who spend prodigious > amounts of energy building a better way; and many of them are succeeding to > a remarkable degree. We need to spread, encourage, and talk about their > work. > I would like to suggest that it may be constructive for you to broaden your > scope to some degree and begin to identify people, places, and efforts that > are making progress in building a better way to educate young people. I'm > not suggesting that you stop your trenchant analyzing, you do it so well. > Yet, because you are so well known for this work, it seems to me that > information about meaningful efforts at reform, restructuring, or > transformation (whatever we want to call it) must find themselves to you > with rather consistent regularity. It would be a marvelous service to the > educational community to share some of this knowledge with the passion and > effectiveness with which you so ably express your critique. > > 2. I wish to posit a different view of your concluding thought: that a > high-level national dialog should be initiated, sponsored by politically > neutral parties. It seems to me that: (1) such a centralized, inevitably > top-down, approach is likely to replicate a 21st century version of the > Committee of Ten all over again. There is no lack of elites who gather > periodically to issue reform/improvement agendas for what other people > should do to make things fundamentally better. Centralization of decision > making about educational practice and policy serves to reify and reinforce > the very bureaucratic structures and mind-sets that are so firmly > entrenched. (2) What the situation requires, much like the type of learning > you describe as so important, is a much more sloppy, decentralized, > independent approach in which groups of people assemble in ways that make > sense to them to transform existing educational structures and/or work to > create new ones. This type of work occurs all over the world. It is these > independent, visionary spirits who embody the flame of hope who are more > likely to lead the type of changes so many of us yearn for. > > Further, I would suggest that there are few, if any, politically neutral > parties - particularly who would have the resources to convene such a > national dialog as you propose. Every person and organization has its/their > point of view, agenda, and relationship to the way things are. No one can do > this convening for us and no one can do this thinking for us. We must do it > ourselves...and then we will serve as exemplars and embodiments of the very > educational outcomes that you articulate so eloquently and effectively. The > internet provides us a unprecedentedly democratic mechanism for doing this, > but it is far from the only way. > > Just my 2 cents. Hope some will comment/respond. --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH