Personal Learning Network
Why School by Will Richardson
In Will Richardson's Why School, he discusses the rise of technology and the changes technology can and should make in education. In his essay, Richardson presents two different types of reform that will incorporate technology into the classroom. The first reform suggests using technology to 'Better' the way that the current curriculum is delivered to students. The second reform suggest using technology as a tool for students to incorporate in the classroom while adapting the curriculum to current relevant information that would be pertinent to today's students.
After reading about each reform, I side more with the latter reform. I believe that in addition to utilizing technology in the classroom, it is more important to change the actual curriculum that is presented to the students. As a new and up and coming teacher, I believe strongly that students should have a say in what they are learning or, at the very least, how they are learning it. The world is constantly changing and when it comes to education, you can't just use technology as a band-aid...it has to be reinvented in the classroom and work like stitches. It is vital that educators adapt to the changes in the world so that the education they provide makes the most sense for their students.
Speaking of adapting, I now want to talk about the 6 unlearning/relearning ideas that Richardson presents in his essay. Richardson created 6 ideas that he believes teachers need to strive toward in order to better the education for our future generations. The one idea that I believe that I can fully commit to is the idea of Being a Master Learner. As the world changes, I believe it is my responsibility as an educator to keep up. I personally strive to connect the material I teach everyday in my class to current events and global ideas. For example, what is the point of me lecturing about immigration in the 1850's? Well, the issues of racism and xenophobia that existed back then still exist today...but in a different way. As I was talking about the commonalities of the past and present, I watched as my students understood why they were being taught something and was exhilarated when a mass discussion broke out between the students...about immigration. If I was not up to date with current news and events, I would not have been able to make this connection for my students. I advocate learning at all ages and frequently refer to myself as a 'forever student'.
Though I know that I can fully commit to being a life-long learner (because I already am) I worry that I may not be able to reach all of Richardson's 6 expectations for educators. The idea I foresee myself struggling with the most is the idea of Transferring the Power. Richardson emphasizes that it is important for students to have a say in what they learn. Though I completely agree with that statement, he also encourages finding ways for students to have real experiences in their life to help them learn. The example Richardson used was of a teacher who helped his students build a self sustaining generator. Though absolutely love the idea of students getting out in the world and creating something, I fear that I will struggle in this endeavor. Education cuts are becoming increasingly more evident and it is getting harder to even get permission to let students out of the classroom for a field trip. I hope that I can work on this idea in my classroom and find a way to let my students have the power.
Richardson, W. (2012) Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere[Kindle]. Retrieved from www.amazon.com
Teacher candidate at CSU, San Marcos.
Below is my educational Pinterest Board. Check it out to see where I get some of my ideas!