The Tension Between Learning & Credentials


A few weeks ago, the folks at KQED Mindshift published a blog post by Katrina Schwartz entitled How ‘Deprogramming Kids’ from How to ‘Deschool’ Could Improve Learning. In the article, she tells the story of a high school math and physics teacher who goes through the process of rejigging his conceptualization of learning.

The teacher goes through a process of deconstructing a variety of practices and methods which arguably have skewed the very purpose of education for the purposes of ensuring his students are learning. He enters a process whereby he admits that his conventional practice no longer moves towards notions of excellence in teaching and learning, but more towards a game of rewards, numbers, and credential acquisition.

While the term deschooling in this context is far from what Illich posits, I was struck by this narrative as I have gone through a similar process of reflection. I have only recently realized that for the past few years I have been failing many of my students, as my assessment practices only served a small minority. This has been a devastating process, but one I hope that has steered me on the elusive path towards excellence in teaching and learning.

I invite you to read the article and share your thoughts.


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