Friday, March 25, 2016

Toxic Culture of Education

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein
"We must change the public narrative on education. We must fight our Toxic Culture! We must end high stakes testing for the sake of “accountability”. Let’s have education policy that builds up our students with sensible human standards instead of fitting them into robotic boxes for “college readiness”. Let’s focus on getting students out there in the evolving global economy. Let’s focus on teaching them the important things: how to read, how to think, how to research, how to reason, how to master basic skills, and how to be good citizens. Let’s talk about the Non-Cognitive factors that are the true measures of student achievement: persistence, integrity, character. Let’s teach them how to learn and how to innovate, NOT how to take tests. We must change the focus of our Toxic Culture away from curriculum, teachers, and schools, and WE MUST focus on our students! Let’s stop measuring fish by how well they climb trees."
Joshua Katz is an inspiring math teacher who has worked with students who fall in the bottom 25 percent in math. Those students are at risk of failing or dropping out, he says. They believe if they don’t go to college, they have no worth, which means their only alternatives are to be underemployed, find illegal work, or to abuse the social welfare system, he says. “It doesn’t matter if a student is a gifted artist, a loving caretaker, talented musician, or poetic writer, those students are the fish being judged on how they climb trees because we say the end-all, be-all is college,” Katz says. “Those students are marginalized by what I call a toxic culture of education.”
We have posted this talk early on, but it is worth watching this again. So powerful.

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