It’s been said over and over again that today’s economy does not need the factory model education system. We know that we are so far past that. So why do we still beat this drum? Haven’t we changed?
The argument is for cross-curricular and inter-disciplinary projects for students. With such easy access to information, there are so many opportunities for the integration of content and skills from multiple disciplines into every class. The assessment of skills can be infused into challenging scenarios that connect to life and events outside of the classroom walls. The scenarios can be tough to create, but teachers tend to be creative, engaging storytellers. Better yet, use an actual real-world problem. Even better, have students FIND the problem that they want to solve! You may argue, “But there are basics to learn.” Well, there’s small group instruction and digital tools that help facilitate practice and assess the basics, while the rest of the class can be for collaboration and problem-solving. The problems and projects are how we really engage our students, helping them discover interests. We live and work in a project-based and problem-based world and economy, so why not engage our students in that type of work?
It’s NOT the teachers, the principals, administration, or really anyone on the “front lines” that are actively promoting a factory model of teaching. I’m very lucky. I rarely see kids in rows being talked at for an hour. My assertion is that we need more real-world, problem- and project-based activities in the classroom.