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A Response to “PBL course idea – Past, Present, and Future of USA Schooling”

December 12, 2011

In his blog post, An Integrated PBL course idea-Past, Present, and Future of USA Schooling, Bo Adams writes about studying “schooling” in school.  He proposes getting students and teachers involved in studying their culture, classroom, and the school system through a project-based learning format.  Integrating the studies of math, English, science, social studies, art, physical education, and languages with the theme of “let’s look at our community.”  How do we function?  What are the variables that impact our community?  There are so many questions that could energize a course like this.   Mr. Adams assumes, correctly I think, that if we (teachers and students) studied ourselves and look at the issues and problems we face, we could come up with creative solutions to these challenging problems that face education. Interesting idea!

I commented on his blog post, “In the world of “studying schools,” we leave too much of this work to higher education, consultants, politicians, or big business.  They tend to dictate from on high.”  I do believe that education is one profession that leaves it up to others to regulate the whole profession.  We let others regulate our curriculum, our evaluations, and even our professional development.  Why is that?

It would serve our school communities well if we (teachers and students), we more engaged in shaping our own future.  If we exercised more control over our destiny through studying ourselves in school, as Bo Adams suggests.   We (teachers and students) might come up with very creative solutions to the issues in the school reform movement.

The reality is that money controls the influence OR maybe its the people with influence control the money.  For some strange reason its all tied up in money: endowments, big givers, foundations, Race to the Top, NCLB, College Board, and so on.

More local involvement (students and teachers) would stand a better chance of not being corrupted by the large amounts of dollars that flow into education and the technology in education.

How to get this started?  As David Whyte the poet says, Start Close In.  We have to start by creating and offering the type of courses that Bo Adams suggests.

Bob

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