June 3, 2010 by Willy Cardoso
I think there’s always a time in life when you’ll rebel against your own beliefs. You can quickly supress that feeling and get back to the form, which is evidently the easiest thing to do, or you can benefit from being just a homo sapien and reconsider those beliefs and decide if you’ll stick to them or not. In the worst case scenario, you’ll have learnt something.
If you know me personally or if you read my last post, you can see that I’m at this moment of reflection as regards education, teaching and learning. In order to take another leap in my professional and personal life, I feel the urgent need to put my concepts into check and open a big space for new ideas to flow in.
The motivation for this post comes from a blog post I read today, How to evaluate teachers? and its relation to the book I’m reading this week Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich. Moreover, when following education related #hashtags on Twitter, I see many similar questions and debates, and assessment is one of the hottest potatoes.
On the post I mentioned above Andrew Barras (aka Crudbasher), says “In every industry, there has to be a way to evaluate if the desired results are being achieved (…) It makes sense. Education becomes a standardized product. (…) This is the type of revolution Ken Robinson is talking about I think.” (Bear in mind that these are three loose sentences from the article, so I really suggest you read the whole thing before criticizing it)
I think that at one time or another many people shared these same views, that (to make our jobs easier) we need to create standards and accurate methods of evaluation, or in order to give opportunities for all we need to massify education and build as many schools as we can.
This is a major doubt I have now. I don’t think we should treat Education as an industry. And I doubt that a revolution is coming up, even less that this is what Ken Robinson meant, actually everything he said was against stardardized schooling, as far as I could understand.
industry the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product: the automobile industry; the steel industry.
Just like I said, I’ve been revisiting many concepts, so I can’t clearly formulate a counter-argument right now. But I really wanted to mention it here and raise the discussion.
I’d like to display below Illich’s view, which made me think that industry, evaluation, standards, etc are all a big bullshit. And I’d like to invite you to join me in the discussion. Don’t we rely too much on education to happen mostly within the school? Will teachers, parents and government ever empower pupils to decide what/how/when/where they’ll learn? Is this utopia?