On a regulat basis “new” research comes out about education and myriad things that affect it. If you’ve been around awhile there’s a good possiblity that shaking your head and uttering “Well, duh!” comes along with reading the “new” research.
While much of it does seem to be simple common sense, and has been written, talked, and blogged about numerous times, there is a reason for the redundancy. Each new generation needs to hear what you heard long ago, along with anything new that pops up.
Here are some constants, some of which have been the subject of “new” research, others that should just be a given, and others that have been used as political pawns by various politicians and others who want to make a lot of money off the system:
- Very young children are just that, very young children. Any comparison to adults is wildly wrong.
- Developmental processes cannot under any circumstances be hurried along by anything. It’s the reason they are called developmental processes.
- All children are ready to learn. They learn in different ways at different times.
- Play, unhampered by adults, is one of the most important things young children do.
- Poverty, as well as family and community disfunction, adversely effects how children learn.
- Hunger adversely effects how children learn.
- There is no “school to prison pipeline”. There are disfunctional, criminal, and poverty driven pipelines to prison.
- Schools do not cause, nor are they responsible for, poverty, drug and crime infested communities.
- It takes experience to become an effective and really good teacher.
- Rookie teachers aren’t owed anything by the system.
- Rookie teachers are less expensive and less experienced than older teachers.
- There is a need for rookies as well as experienced teachers in every school.
- Around 50% of new (rookie) teachers quit the teaching ranks within 3-5 years of starting in the classroom.
- New curricula probably aren’t, rather it’s repackaged from an earlier approach, and selling it to the school systems is very lucrative.
- Anyone pushing a”teach this way not that way” system is in the same boat.
- New curricula will change to something else, or begin to change, within about 3 years of its introduction.
- Education is dynamic, and change is constant.
- Schools are not businesses and cannot be run on a profit/loss basis
- Learning is all the time, for your entire life.
- Learning is all around you, all the time.
This is a good start. It’s impossible to cover all the constants. Education, at all levels, is an exciting and complicated process. The point here is to take all the new pronouncemnets with a grain of salt. Do a little research before you buy into the latest and greatest eduspeak du jour sound bites or lawsuits.
Really, don’t you think you might realize, without hearing a bit on the news about the great new research, that hunger and poverty are bad for learning?
As always, assume nothing, verify everything.