Monday, May 9, 2011

Assembly Lines are Great for Cars...

...but not for students.

The idea that it takes each and ever student four years to get through High School is deeply flawed. The idea that every student needs to sit in a classroom for 990 hours a year is also flawed. And both of these flaws are based on the same mistake:
That all students are the same.

We know this isn't true.

We know this because we have ed plans. And 504's. And tutoring. And leveled classes. And AP classes. And night school. And summer school.
All things designed to put flexibility back into a rigid system.

Why don't we stop putting bandaids on this gaping wound, and address the problem itself:

The system needs to be based on flexibility.

Why don't we run things on a credit based system? You need (x) credits to graduate from High School. They need to be in the following distribution. If that takes you 5 years, that's just fine. If it takes you 2.5, that's ok too. If you'd rather take classes during the summer to speed things up, we'll offer those. If you want to take a semester off to do an internship, that's great; we might even grant you some credit.

Kids aren't all the same, and treating them like they all need the same schedule does them a disservice.


1 comment:

  1. I want to teach with you! This is an outstanding idea that puts the onus on the learner. Take your learning in your own hands. Make your own mosaic. So many of my former students write about how much they are loving college simply because they're following their interests--and they're not just taking fluff courses either. Chemistry, engineering, music theory, biology...they are seeking challenges but designing their learning experience. This would work for all ages as long as we dumped the notion of one-grade-level-per-year.