Friday, 17 May 2013

Tech Task #3: Why School?

After listening to the live session, Why School? with Will Richardson I couldn't help but think of my own schooling experience as a student, and as a future educator. The schools I attended in elementary and high school were very 'traditional'. We learned what our teacher wanted us to, when they wanted us to learn it. We were expected to model our learning the exact same way. There was no technology incorporated into my classes. I graduated high school with the notion that school was something I had to do. That school was product based rather than a process. I believed that I had to demonstrate what I learned based on what the teacher wanted me to learn. Once I got to university that way of thinking benefited me in most of my classes. However, some of my Ed classes completely shifted the way I saw schooling. In these classes I had choice in my assignments, I could show how I learned in other ways than an exam, or paper. Learning became something that I wanted to do, rather than what I had to do. Those profs inspired me to one day have a classroom like that. Where learning has meaning and school is a place for discovery.

I would love to have a classroom where students are allowed to use their own technology/tools, have choice and a say in their learning (run a demographic classroom). Yet as a future educator I do fear falling back into the old ways of teaching, and never pushing the boundaries (of classrooms, learning, students or the role of teachers). I fear this because of my schooling exposure and the pressures/negative reactions of staff, faculty and parents who are not accepting of modern learning/teaching.
I do not know how to change the role of the teacher with all these mixed messages. We are encouraged to change the traditional ways of teaching in order to meet the needs of all students. Yet school boards implement standardize testing. How do we make a change when we are constantly being told to stay the same?


  1. I think you articulate well the current dilemma and struggles you're about to face. My advice would be to continue to ask these questions and engage in lots of conversations with colleagues and friends. As you state, some things like giving students choice of assignments might be a good place to start. Other things more difficult. I think a willingness and openness to change is a great start v

  2. I am sure every future teacher shares the same fears as you, I know I do. It is scary making this huge shift when you never had a role model of what modern learning looks like. I think the first step is to be open to change and to try not to be afraid of making a mistake or failing(which sounds harsh, but it's true). You may want to try something in your class but you don't because you are too scared of it failing or not working out, don't be! It is better to try new things with your students even with the possibility of it not working then sticking to the traditional. Have faith that things will work out and I am sure you will do great. Start with baby steps and if the students are succeeding parents and colleagues should be supportive.