Reading comments below an article on education reformer, Michelle Rhee, I found what might be the best explanation of the connundrum facing education systems worldwide:
“… I have experienced teaching in two environments, the low-performing classroom and the high-achieving classroom.
In the former, much of my energy, both emotionally and intellectually, is spent on so-called classroom management. In the latter, the lesson plan itself takes care of classroom management, as higher-achieving students demonstrate initiative, creativity and academic skills during the 42 minutes or so of classroom instruction.
As a teacher, I try my utmost to educate all kids in my classroom; what I cannot do is change the culture of negativity and failure that seems to permeate all non-performing schools.
In other words, trying to change the culture of poverty, and all that goes along with it, is truly a quixotic task.
I am not fatalistic. Educational reformers must realize that in order to achieve true reform, the inequalities of our broader society must be alleviated, if not eliminated. Otherwise, educators will be caught in a surreal merry- go-round of failed reforms.”
Ignoring what the student does or doesn’t bring to the classroom is to fail to properly evaluate educational achievement issues. Yet education reforms continue to do just that. So what’s the answer?