Monday, May 14, 2012

Finally clarification...

The other day I read this blog post by Dr. Scott McLeod.  It's very short...heck, I'll just copy and paste it and give him full credit for finally clarifying my struggles as an educator.  The reason behind all the nights I have laid in bed tossing and turning struggling with teaching and learning could possibly be summed up in this short blog post.

"How do you reconcile…
principles of standards-based grading; “begin with the end in mind and work backwards;” understanding by design; and other more convergent learning ideas
project-, problem-, challenge-, and/or inquiry-based learning; creativity; innovation; collaboration; and our need for more divergent thinkers?
How do (or would) you reconcile these potentially-conflicting concepts? How should schools navigate the tension between convergence and divergence?" - Dr. McLeod

I have taught for 6 years at a school for inquiry.  However, I have rarely felt that I have been encouraged to teach with a divergent mindset.  I have always wanted to, but I have always been pushed towards convergence.  Standards preach divergence, but practice convergence.  Administrators want the beauty of divergence, but coach towards convergence.  Even I long for and LOVE to see the beauty that stems from divergence, true learning, yet I am often weighted down by the restriction of convergent standards.
As a learning leader next year, how will I "reconcile these potentially-conflicting concepts" with the teachers at my school?

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