Taking the PYP Forward - Quality not Bureaucracy

As a final chapter in this book, it was a good overview of how schools should approach their learning environments, but it was also anti-climatic.  Part of me abhors the use of capitalist and business ideas or models in education, but another part of me sees their value.  We live in a capitalist society, with capitalist values (whether we like it or not).  Just because something is a business model, doesn't mean it has to be focused solely on the profit.  It is a tough metaphor to sell (haha!) to education because the profit of a school is not as easily measured as the profit of a corporate entity.  Education is complex.  It is alive.  It is not a product.  It is a process.  As Dewey has famously said, "education is not preparation for life, it is life".

As for the thesis of not relying on the data driven world to guide education, yes, but that is not new.  It is frustrating to go back and read books or articles from 30-50 years ago (Friere comes to mind) and to see that we are still having the same discussions regarding testing and standardization and curriculum.  Not much has changed.  Many schools still run as top-down institutions  and curriculum is set up as a top-down artifact.

To me, from a complexivist perspective, a system that is top down is not sustainable.  It will not foster creativity, which will make adaptation to change slower or un-responsive.  A more apt systems metaphor is the bottom up approach.  The bottom, in educational terms, would be the classrooms.  If we allow the creativity and the innovation to come from the bottom and move up to change the structures that hold it together, we may get a more emergent form of education that is better able to meet the needs of this changing world.  To me (and I am biased, but aren't we all?) an understanding of systems thinking and complex systems would be a prerequisite for any bureaucrat or administrator in a school environment.


don't think, feel

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