I attended a workshop earlier in the year regarding NGSS instruction, and something that was flashed on the presenter’s screen has stuck with me every since:
If instruction doesn’t look radically different, you’re not really doing it.
I think this is true regarding a lot of what’s seen in education today. We think we’re innovating, doing things differently, but we’re really doing the same old things in the same old context using the same thinking we’ve been using for the last 100+ years in education.
“Well, we do that…but we do it this way.”
“We started doing that, but we can’t do a lot of it because of all the content we have to cover.”
“We can only do it this way because our test scores may suffer.”
Test scores will be fine. Students will learn what they are supposed to learn (and a lot of what’s in content standards they will never need for their lives, anyway). If we really want to students to do real learning, we have to get beyond the obstacles we think are in our way under the traditional system and starting doing things the way they need to be done for real learning to happen.
And that means doing things radically differently.