Looking through the education peephole

Security peepholes are lenses that work in two directions. From the inside they magnify what can be seen outside. And from the outside they minimize details so little on the inside can be seen.

Rick Hess’s guest blogger, Roxanna Elden, describes teacher experiences with policymakers who are unable to see how to improve education because they are outside, looking the wrong way through the peephole:


I think she had fun writing this:

. . . edu-decision makers and teachers have trouble communicating. Maybe it’s because sometimes we really do speak different languages.

Teachers and policymakers speak different languages because they are on different sides of the door. From the inside teachers with an inspiring, useful definition of what it means to be educated see a magnified image of how to improve education — model and teach that definition.  Teachers know it’s difficult but not complicated.

Policymakers, on the other hand, are looking from outside, unable to see how to improve education. Therefore, they search for research-based “effectiveness.”  Read an education research report, someday and you will see what it looks like to make education both difficult and complicated.

Elden describes teachers being told to use “research-based” methods and to shift paradigms. Our best teachers don’t use research to improve education because it would be illogical and unethical to use the ideas of those who have never been in their classrooms, and who complicate the already difficult work of teaching children.


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