From my post yesterday, veteran teacher Mr. Hollen Mott, who taught in rural one-room schools for 38 years and was interviewed in 1973:
This educational whirl runs in cycles and when the pendulum swings, it’ll swing too far to one side. If only we could pick out the good of both and put them together...
Almost once a year for the last 25 years, I’ve listened to some expert or other explain there is one way to teach, only one way to teach, and that anyone who wasn’t teaching that one way was simply not doing things correctly. The new way was far better than every other way, there was no doubt whatsoever, and anyone who questioned the validity of this method had no business pretending to be a teacher.
Why can’t we take a little bit from here, a little bit from there, find out what works for us, and then use it?
We are moving away from allowing teachers to be individuals, working with kids in their own way. The standardization movement is standardizing not only the methods, but the human beings who work with children … and the children themselves.
It’s important to find your own way. Especially if we want children to find theirs.