I’ve just returned from San Diego and a Learning Environment conference – I try to go each year to the International Conference as well as some local ones. It’s really important to all of us who work in or around Education to keep up to date with thinking and the contrasts between San Diego (just now), Dubai (last month) and Morocco (three months ago) is interesting. However, it’s also the similarities which are equally pertinent as everywhere I go I find that the same issues arise and are discussed centering around assessment, measurement and purpose.
Every educator I talk to knows is acutely aware that the world is changing fast and its hard to keep up if we want to deliver a ‘standard curriculum’. But equally the challenge of moving toward something engaging, meaningful and relevant for students is daunting as there is real fear that this might mean a drop in results. And its the fear of what might happen which too often becomes the obstacle to innovation for the better.
Keeping on doing something which we know is not good seems the safer than moving to something which could be much better, but could also be worse. Better to stay as is. If enough people stay then by sheer force of numbers change can be stifled.
Interestingly though, children aren’t caught up with those same concerns and are happy to talk candidly about what makes teaching (and through that, learning) interesting. Last week I talked to some children in the West Country and they said the same thing as similarly aged children five years ago.