Changing what we value…

…is not easy. Especially if we’ve valued it most of our lives. It’s why, I believe, education is so hard to change. Change requires us to alter our values and beliefs. And people, especially educators, are not willing to do that when it comes to teaching and learning.

Today, I read a blog post (Open Source Goes to High School) about the Open High School of Utah. Does our education system truly value that learning can happen anytime, anywhere and in any way? We say we do, but what do we have to show for it? We say it, but we don’t really mean it, do we? That’s why we continue to operate within a system that is entirely centered on school-buildings and adult-generated curriculum, texts and learning plans. What we haven’t done is altered our core values and beliefs. And until we do so, we’ll continue to talk about new ways of learning, but only tinker around the edges of the system.

Here are some questions I have proposed to our leadership team after reading the blog post and watching the video on the work at the Open High School of Utah. What are your thoughts?

  • Do our students hunger for this kind of learning? Are they ready for it?
  • Are parents ready for schools to provide online/blended learning opportunities to their students?
  • Are school boards and the educational community (leaders, teachers) ready for this kind of learning?
  • Should more schools be pursuing “open education” models? How should we start?
  • How do we get people to see that for any change to stick we must change our underlying values and beliefs?

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