What Should We Change?

Draft Week

At different times over the past three years, I have written posts, or started to write posts, and for some reason I haven’t been able to work some of them out. For one reason or another, the idea wasn’t finished or at least not at the level where I felt it was good enough to publish. I have recently had the desire to go back and finish some of those posts, so this week, I am going to finish 5 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for a while, in some cases, over two years. I picked five that I wanted to finish, maybe not the best, but ones that I needed to work out and take the time to finish because they meant something to me. Today’s post was originally written on April 29th, 2013, at a time I was very interested and excited about the potential for change in education. All week, whatever I had written will be in italics and then I will add to the post to finish it. Kathy Melton is joining me in this week long return to posts we never finished, her blog can be found here.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by hang_in_there

I am in one of those moods. I am in a mood where I choose to believe that all this talk is going to result in action. I am believing that our provincial government’s commitment to education reform is real. I have faith that the time, the opportunity and the key individuals are all where they need to be. So how are we going to do this?

In my school we have been working in a few areas – Inquiry, Project-Based Learning, Innovation/Creativity and Alternative Classroom Design – and we are just one school. My worry is that when we open the flood gates to “change”, people who are excited and passionate about a specific area are going to want to run with their ideas, and at the school, division or provincial level this is going to result in spreading ourselves too thin.

So Change, yes. But what should we change?

 So, I got stuck. I was struggling with how to respond to the question WITHOUT being clouded by what I find to be the priority areas for positive change in education. I wanted this to be a conversation piece where people could share where they believed change should happen and why?

I am no cop-out artist, I won’t avoid the question, although my answer will be a little bit on the vanilla side…

In our province we had something called the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) which was scrapped in the recent budget cuts, before a lot of the action research could be completed and/or reported. It’s too bad, because my answer would be to implement a model where educators could put forth proposals to our Ministry to experiment in an area of change that they believed in and were willing to not only implement, but put in the necessary planning/research before and during their trial.

What are your thoughts? With all this talk of change, what specifically would you want to see changed? What would you want to see be made the priority of change in schools?

5 thoughts on “What Should We Change?

      • I live in Michigan. My daughter attended public school K-2. I chose to homeschool her in 3rd grade. She will start 4th grade in the fall and we will continue to homeschool.

      • Yes, at least in our school district (though I believe our school system is not entirely unique in Michigan). I would have liked to have seen more phonics, less whole language, elimination of Everyday Math, and less peer-led instruction. The curriculum relied too much (my opinion) on parent involvement after school resulting in a reduction in quality family time. Before 3rd grade, our school eliminated a classroom which would have resulted in approximately 30 children per classroom (tiny classrooms). That was the tipping point. I believe in public schools, and hope they can strike a good balance in the future, but I do enjoy homeschooling.

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