Douglas Crets

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Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

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I had to share this comment I left with Dan over at Cloud Avenue, because I am hoping it can provoke some comments between me and him, and between me and some of the daily readers of this blog. Here you go:

Here is the comment.

Dan,

I have not finished reading this so far pretty good blog post, but I wanted to comment on this, because it really struck at something I have been thinking about in my work:

Adjuncting is more rewarding as all I have to do is teach, but I have to teach what the college systems tell me to teach, even if what they want taught is Firewall NG that was old in 2001.”

I had read the same article you link to, and I think you do an excellent job of putting meat on the bones of the broader issue. What your statement above makes me think is, “Imagine what the students must feel.” I wonder how many of your students are adults who take classes to refine their thinking, and then how many of those students say about how much of what is on offer broadly at the school is relevant to their everyday work lives, or even more importantly, their vision of what needs to happen in the industry in which they work?

I’ll take this to another layer: where is education a powerful and effective compound of entrepreneurial vision-making and the teaching of applicable skill sets?

It seems to me that the rise of online media and internet connectivity has created a disconnect between what we can imagine ourselves doing with certain skills, and then our ability to gain access cheaply and efficiently to routes to those skills. In a sense — and I traditionally work with K12 and not so much the professorial arena — that problem is much more dire in elementary and secondary education. Here you have kids locked into a system run by gatekeepers who are behind the curve and not as exposed as the students aer to potential, so a shadow education system emerges.

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3 Responses

  1. dan says:

    Dave,

    You do bring up a valid point, and one that requires as I said in the article, a complete rewiring of the system. I have friends who teach in K-12 and their frustration is something I hear about a lot. Limited by what they are forced to teach to students who are bored with the curriculum because they can just go “google it”, with teachers (no offense to anyone teaching in k-12) that are stuck between a rock and hard place, poorly designed curriculum followed by poorly developed school systems, maintained by a political/administrative process that rewards conformity rather than innovation.

    Are charter schools the answer? Home Schooling? In my mind though we just can’t afford the warehouse system in education up and down the process that we have today. This is going to provide serious opportunity for people who want to rewire the system, but only for those who can afford the bill that will go along with it.

  2. [...] post by Douglas Crets var addthis_language = 'en'; Filed under Uncategorized Northwestern University tries [...]

  3. Douglas Crets says:

    But how do we re-wire the system, while teachers feel they are under attack, and while budget pressures make administrators and teachers both feel like there is little positive in revamping and taking risk?

    In most industries, this would be the time to make the most far-reaching changes. But it seems that many in education will prefer to do battle with mainstream scepticism about the profession, rather than take a hands-on approach to rebuilding a new education system for current issues.

    What do you think?

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