Talking to teachers at my school today about how we could raise our test scores gave me some further insight into why change doesn’t happen. They tend to jump into solving â€œthe problemâ€ by doing what comes naturally to them. They focus on attacking the problem they are given – Getting our students to do much better on the very testing that they have some, to many issues with. But they don’t make the jump then to speaking up about that they have huge issues with the testing and trying to get our students to do well on the current type and format of testing … that the testing is a disconnect from the learning our students should be involved in.
They totally get the vast disconnect and the implications â€¦ but they don’t even think for a second about questioning that. It doesn’t enter their mind to question it â€¦ because we just don’t do that â€¦ we do what we are told â€¦ and/or that’s never entered their minds, that what they believe and have come to through their education, experience and common sense has any value or should be considered. They have years of experience and a masters degree and tons of training … but who are they to use that to make decisions about student learning?
That is administrations role (they have been told). If I or someone else raises those issues they totally agree â€¦ if they are told we should be bringing up these issues they totally agree â€¦ as long (pretty much) as it isn’t them that brings it up. This is partly their fault, and partly what has happened after 8 years of being told what we think is not under consideration, just do the program â€¦ don’t question it, it is â€œresearch basedâ€ (and the university profs don’t help here mostly in the classes teachers take from them they reinforce it).
Just do what we are told. Deal with the problem we are given â€¦ not what we believe is the real problem.
Learning is messy!