Whats your Status Quo of EDU?

One of my district’s vision statements is to “Create new norms in education that challenge the status quo”.  I thought it might be helpful to actually define some areas of the status quo that we should be challenging.  Here is my list:

Don't Change - Stay Put

Image credit – http://returnonfocus.com

  1.  Good tests scores = good schools
  2. Good test scores = prepared students
  3. Good grades = prepared students
  4. Report cards
  5. Grade levels
  6. Bells/schedules
  7. School calendar – Starts in September, ends in May/early June
  8. Teacher – center of instruction
  9. Learning = classroom seat time
  10. Learning = sit and get instruction
  11. Teacher designs/facilitates student learning experiences
  12. One teacher, one subject, one at a time
  13. Teacher learning = seat time
  14. College ready trumps career ready
  15. Technology is add-on, or breakout class
  16. Decisions are made top down
  17. School = Academics only
  18. What am I missing? Please share your ideas!!!
  1. I love your list. Here’s a few on my list: Homework=standard practice
    Homework=part of the grade
    Participation= part of the grade
    Teachers who teach only one grade level for decades.

    I can’t believe we still use homework in elementary schools when every single piece of research, including those who support it, show that it has a non-significant effect upon student learning/achievement. If a child can ace the assessments and demonstrate knowledge, why put them through the tedium that is homework. If the child does not know the material, why frustrate them and reinforce wrong conceptions at home without teacher input?

    I agree with your #16, except… what I have found is that I have, in my experience, had many teachers that just want to stay with the status quo. They’re comfortable. It is only through the top-down model that some of these teachers begin to change. My desire is to get them to want this change, but when it is lacking I have to sometimes just lay down the directive.

    What are your thoughts on these teachers who actively resist change? I’m glad to see that you’re not one of them and I love your list.


  2. John,
    Thanks for your additions. Homework is definitely a big status quo!

    You are absolutely right. Instead of Decisions are top down – I probably should have put ALL decisions are top down. Sometimes administrators need to make decisions without input. But I do believe that shared decisions go a VERY LONG way with buy-in and action planning to accomplish the vision/goal.

    As for teachers who resist change, I believe we can’t just expect them to change without the proper supports. Nobody wants to be in the “struggling” class and labeled “at risk”. Are there ways to support them individually or in small groups and celebrating their wins (no matter how small?). Sometimes the idea of failure is very scary – especially in front of students- and lets face it, change usually takes a few iterations before “getting it right”. These teachers need to be commended on their effort – when they try something and do not succeed. The growth mindset is incredibly powerful, and the more admin, coaches, peers provide feedback to encourage it – I am hoping the more we will develop it in our staff.

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