Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Technology and Education in a Postmodern World

Postmodernism and technology in education has been on my mind a lot lately. It is rather frustrating because due to the No Child Left Behind Act, Americans are too distracted with the the need to bring children up to an unrealistic and frustrating standard, that the massively changing culture with new needs, is being forgotten. Even in my master's studies, sometimes the focus keeps coming back to bringing up reading skills, that the need for widespread educational change is shoved aside. Reading is important, but pressuring children to learn how through testing is not the answer.
LISTEN UP, people--the world is no longer the same as it was 10 years ago!!! Information spreads so rapidly and new knowledge is being accumulated exponentially. The American school system and its beauracracy changes slow enough without new information and ideas expanding at such a quick rate. Homeschoolers and children in more innovative countries are going to speed ahead while children in our public schools languish in a worn out system. Jesus said, "You cannot put new wine in old wineskins." Why do we keep trying to put the new culture with its easy to access information, networking mindset, and need for creativity and innovation into the old top-down authoritative, regimented, competetive, and structured educational system?
Some of the teachers and administrators (the really good ones), keep trying to fits the square pegs into round holes, and because children are adaptable creatures, some manage to fit. However, it is time to venture outside our comfort zones, learn to TRUST local schools, teachers, and children to teach and learn and innovate, and hold them accountable for long term holistic results that include happiness, stability, creativity, and adaptability, and not test scores which mainly test how well students can memorize and take tests. If we encourage teachers to differientiate intruction, why do we not differentiate testing as well? Is taking tests well what we want students to know? The real question is: what skills do they need for the 21st century? I'll bet you one thing--they are not the skills that most of us have been teaching. See this site for a great article on the subject.

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