Next Time Some Ed Guru Starts Spouting About Knowledge and Skills Students Need for the Future: Change the Channel!

“The idea that education is best served by standardizing method, content, goals, and evaluation procedures leads to another consequence. It tends to convert education into a race.” Elliot Eisner, “Reimagining Schools”

The problem with converting education into a “race” it is impossible, without being a fortune teller, where that finish line should be. If we truly want to personalize education, then shouldn’t be looking for ways to serve up the same old standards, content, goals, as well as evaluating all students the same way. The idea that one can “personalize” learning should mean focusing on the child and the their finish line, not the finish line that ed gurus, corporations think they should reach. This is why much of the “personalized learning” blather is going to fail like “open education,” “multiple-intelligence-based learning,” “brain-based learning,” and on failed. We fool ourselves when we have the audacity to predict what students need to know 20 years, 30 years into the future. Growing up in a textile town, many of classmates were told they only need to know how to run looms, sewing machines, etc. Thirty years later, well, you know the story.

Educators never learn anything new because they have amnesia, they ignore the past.