The REAL Replacement Needed. . .

I'm not sure if you had the chance to see Alana Carpenter's comment on my recent post regarding Interactive Whiteboards, but it was brilliant.  Check it out:

teachers are no longer interested in trying learn new ways to teach and
learn and only rely on standing in front of a student audience droning
on about what is and what is not it is time for a replacement. Not with
a new expensive board, but a different teacher.

How awesome is that?!  More importantly, how accurate is that?  The problem with American schools isn't the tools that we're trying to use—-it's the teaching strategies that we're trying to implement.  That's where the real changes in our schools need to happen.

And while Alana's conclusion that we need to replace teachers instead of tools may be a BIT oversimplified—after all, teachers aren't always given the freedom to choose the instructional practices that we're using in our classroom AND we never control the composition of our classes (innovative teaching can be a challenge in a classroom with 30+ kids who have an almost ridiculous range of academic abilities)—focusing on the quality of teaching is always going to produce better results than focusing on tools.

One comment

  1. Frahm

    This reminds me of a great book I recently read: Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College. One of its techniques is what I and many others call KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). Simplicity is underrated. The focus should ALWAYS be on what is the best teaching strategy to reach the most students most effectively. It shouldn’t matter how that strategy appears to others. As teacher we shouldn’t be trying to impress by how we teach something, but by what the students learn from it. Why did it take me over two years to learn this?!?! (I just finished my third year teaching.) I think teacher education in this country is partly to blame for the appearance game.