Prolific writer and vocal advocate for educational reform Alfie Kohn has just published a new collection of essays under the banner of “Feel – Bad Education”. His introduction , “Well, Duh!: Obvious Truths That We Shouldn’t Be Ignoring” sets the tone for the text. In the introduction Alfie lists some commonly agreed beliefs about education such as “Much of the material that students are required to memorize is soon forgotten.” He then challenges teachers – if we hold these beliefs, why is it that our core understandings of educational realities are not in evidence in our schools?
Rather than summarise the section here I have prepared a brief slide show that can be accessed here.
There are real challenges for educators in these assumptions. If we accept them as valid, and I believe that almost all teachers will, the next question we should ask ourselves is why our schools don’t actually reflect them strongly. Then comes the real challenge – to implement educational processes that demonstrate our beliefs in reality, not just rhetoric.