Monday, January 28, 2008

Square Pegs and Soapboxes

Clarence Fisher in an open letter to Gary Stager writes:

"We are a new type of teacher working in new and changing learning environments. We are willing to experiment and drive towards new forms of learning. We fit into the education system like square pegs in round holes."

Bang on!

One of the main reasons that the pace of change in education is soooo frustratingly slow, is that as square pegs, we remain the minority.   It is only recently, thanks to a variety of Web 2.0 tools, that we've been able to find one another, and to positively reinforce our collective works to engage learners.  Events such as Educon 2.0 result in positive energy simply because so many are gathered with the same motivation.   The square pegs come to realize that they are on the right path in spite of the opposition they sometimes face in their local communities. Too bad for all of us, that so few round pegs even know that such events are taking place.

On our own, each of us may have to teach with doors closed so as not to offend the rest of the herd; it is only when clever sheep like Clarence Fisher find one another, that they can institute change that is noticeable on a grand scale.  By being on top of our virtual soapboxes, we are able to publish ideas that may just lead a few roundish pegs to gain sharp corners, and, over time, may result in large scale educational reform.
Courtesy of Ewan McIntosh comes this BBC news item: What Makes a Good Teacher?

"The big question now is whether - after 20 years of being told exactly what and how to teach - there are enough teachers ready to be "creatively subversive"?

If we were the majority, then Gary would notice changes in classroom environments... In order to get there, our voices, our ideas, our words have to be from high enough to be heard by as many teachers as possible.  Please don't come down off of your box yet Clarence, the movement towards Classroom 2.0 needs you!

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