Do Schools Suck?

Dr. Tae‘s video “Building a New Culture of Teaching and Learning” and his main point that “School sucks!” continues to be on my mind. Primarily, it is because I continue to wrestle with the idea of how schools seem to be moving further and further away from how people learn, the idea of natural learning.

Dr. Tae — Building A New Culture Of Teaching And Learning from Dr. Tae on Vimeo.

While Tae discusses a variety of ideas about what he sees as problematic with education, it is how he juxtaposes schooling versus learning that is most intriguing.

School vs Learning

  • Rigid Timetables vs. Try, Fail, Adjust, Repeat until Achieved
  • Coercive vs. Self-Motivated
  • Artificial structures vs. Exploratory and Just-in Time Learning
  • Grade driven vs. Self-Evaluation and Practice until Mastery
  • Cheating/Dishonesty vs. Not Applicable

Like Illich and many others, Tae is challenging us with that which seems obvious: design schools for learning not schooling.

What is learning? How do people learn? Is there a difference in this generation of learners that we need to consider? Finally, how do we design schools based upon the aforementioned questions? What are you doing to move your classroom/school/district towards “a new culture of teaching and learning” that is rooted in how people learn not how teachers like to teach nor the legacy concepts of schooling that drive to many decisions?

Again, I’m haunted again by how quickly education seems to be jumping to instruction as if that is the same as learning. When will we focus on how people learn (learning theory), learner traits, engagement, and assessment before we discuss instructional strategies that will meet those pieces?

Finally, I return to the question that is the title of this post: do schools suck? If so, what are we doing about it?

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