Friday, October 8, 2010

Mixing Metaphors about the Future of Education

I expressed three metaphors yesterday about the future of education:

1) The student as "free agent".  I shared this metaphor with the afternoon professional cluster group (I heard it at my "Group Think" the previous week).  Will the student of the near future be a "free agent" who is not chained totraditional institutions for education?  Will he or she be able to pick and choose from the enormous buffet of online resources as well as face-to-face experiences?  If so, what will be the role of a school like mine.

2) Creating a CBL "dream team".  Today, on the staff wiki I pondered the demise of  traditional academic departments.  I suggested that I would experience superior professional enrichment through regular meetings with a challenge based learning "dream team."  Two colleagues quickly remarked that this metaphor smacked of elitism.  They were right, but my "dream" of a team was an interdisciplinary group of teachers hooked on the same "big idea."  I wasn't imagining a Kobe, Lebron group of egomaniacal  "stars." 

3) Who gets to connect the dots?  A fellow English teacher wrote a terrific piece on the merits of using the "value of literature" as a big idea for a CBL project.  She also reflected on a teacher's role in cultivating this value and mentioned teachers helping students to connect the dots.  I replied that with CBL, students get to plot the dots and help their peers connect them.  Generally, her remarks were more worthwhile than mine, but in this case, I will stand by my metaphor!

"mixed metaphor" Flickr CC photo by roger jones

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