I happen to currently hold a Bachelor’s degree. My degree reads: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. It is the “arts” portion of this degree that I would like to discuss. I spent five years in school reading and researching teaching theories, ideas, and approaches to a variety of subject matters. I was assessed on my abilities to create lessons that would lead to a high level of student engagement, require my students to question at a higher level, help students retain information and skills, etc. If that does not constitute as art then I do not know what does! I did not spend four years of college plugging in formulas to teach students how to read and how to think mathematically. We do not work that way. I do not have a Bachelor’s of Science degree. I want to know why I’m being penalized for doing my job. I am attempting to create. My strengths are creativity and intuition. I can assess a student’s area of strength and build on that to overcome a weakness.
In our schools today districts take pride in using “Researched-Based” materials. If you ask me it’s rather humiliating to have a group of educators buying in to the idea that there’s a “one-size fits all” method to teaching children. Don’t we all know by now that anyone can make research say what we want it to. We could just as easily prove that our students aren’t learning by these programs. I can give you evidence to refute this supposed research right now!
The solution is not buying (yes purchasing with money)programs that “prove” student learning. The solution is making sure that our colleges are sending out creative and intuitive teachers–teachers who are willing to work hard to reach each student in a variety of ways. Teachers who create integrated lessons and use student interests to teach new concepts. Teachers who ask the right questions and give students the tools they need to ask their own questions. That is the solution!
Todays educators need to take caution in their steps toward student achievement. These programs are bound to fail…it’s scientific fact that we don’t all think alike. Who is prepared to take the blame?