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.

Database of Experiences

Henderson & Powell want to suck your brain!!

Henderson & Powell want to suck your brain!!

Here’s to a bit of crowd sourcing, so to speak! My colleague, Rebecca Powell, and I are on a journey to seek out what you and your schools are doing by way of experiential education, ecological literacy, and or 21st century learning (cringe).

Our plan is to compile a database of sorts based on criteria we are putting together for our school in terms of how people frame the notion of experience. Our school is really interested in this idea of experience.

So, we would love your input and expertise. Please share what you do or what your learning community does to use the experience of your learners to create educative experiences. Please include your name, your school’s name, and a short blurb below in the comment section. We are planning to produce this database in late 2014 and we will most definitely share it with you.