Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Duality of Education

I think that the biggest issue in Education today is that there are two minds of thought. On the one hand, you have Educators themselves who are on the front lines and witness what students need to be successful. On the other hand, you have Government and other stakeholders who need a justification for funding, and, to make such reports to the tax paying public, they require some form of empirical measures to present progress. The public, whose taxes support the system, generally can understand stats offered by standardized testing - much like reading the standings of a hockey team in a league. If the metaphorical team is in the cellar, the public asks why. If they are top of the standings, not much gets said. 
This view is very distorted, however, when viewing Education from the inside. Teachers will see growth in the classroom that can not be quantified in a letter grade or percentage. The needs of each learner are unique, and every school has a certain demographic where a single "apply all" district policy or curriculum is neither feasible, nor in the best interests of students. Most people have gone through school and that is the basis of their experiences in Education. Do we ever ask, truly, what is the difference between a 79% and 81% student in the broader contexts of skill, knowledge and ability? Does 100% or "A" mean that a student knows everything, while a 0% or "D" mean they know nothing? Sadly, it is a grading system such as this that leads to so many future doors being opened or shut. Again, we can see where the two minds clash. So often the brightest of students are not those sporting the highest averages, anymore that ranking schools by PAT results indicates the work and progress being done within the walls of each building.
Because of all of this, I do not believe that student's needs will ever truly be addressed by our Educational system. In the end, there are those wanting their taxes spent frugally with and to be quantified - which is fair. The only issue I have with this is that the public will never overcome its apathy enough to truly understand what teachers are dealing with, and the impacts of these works will have on the future of our society in terms of skilled labour, progress, incarceration rates and other social demands. Teachers, on the other hand, while being perceived as these folks who work 8-3pm five days per week with tons of holidays, will continue to live their realities of being Educators, social workers, parents, coaches, volunteers, etc. , all fuelled by their passion for the profession and love of those students which they serve. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: "Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home