Sunday, 10 May 2009

There is always a valid excuse

  • So you say we need to change our schools and the way we teach. In other words you are saying that we have done it all wrong all these years?
  • Who is going to pay for all the extra hours spent on redesigning courses, materials and lesson plans?

  • None of these new methods or technologies are suitable for teaching my subject, just go ahead and use them where they are appropriate, but I will carry on teaching as I've always done - and with good enough results.

  • So are you really saying that all through the previous centuries students didn't learn??

  • If young people are left to decide what and how they want to learn they will become lazy or learn the wrong things.

  • The fundamental responsibility of school as an institution is to pass on our cultural heritage from generation to generation.

  • Global projects - what's wrong with learning about our village/town and our country/nation?
  • You can't really dream of doing anything with a foreign language until you've learned all these hundreds of grammatical rules and exceptions.

  • We need to make sure that young people are taught and memorize the basics of as wide a variety of subjects as possible - application of knowledge will come after school.

  • Our main goal is to prepare our students to succeed in the national final exams.
  • I have got too few lessons to cover the whole course book - it is totally impossible to ever think about any project work or hands-on activities.
  • Theme day - not again, I can't spare any more lessons or I won't cover all the course contents!

  • Online exchange of ideas among colleagues - so face-to-face communication is forbidden now?

  • New pedagogical theories, all well and good for researchers at the university, but they know nothing about the reality of schools.

  • I have only got 6 more years to teach until retirement, no point in starting to learn to use any new tools, all I need is a blackboard, chalk and a working OHP in my classroom.
  • Those innovative ideas may work elsewhere, but we know how to do things best here in our country - let the PISA student assessment results speak for themselves!

  • Groupwork desks - out of the question in my classes, I insist on having students sitting in straight, orderly rows.

  • Paper and pencil never fail, why make things complicated with technology?

  • I am a dedicated teacher, I work hard, I keep preparing worksheets and lesson plans to teach the students, I tell them the same things again and again - it's not my fault if they don't learn!

  • We have one teacher who always introduces strange, new ideas - lucky enough he/she represents a minority, so business can go on as usual for the rest of us.
  • Why can't we just be left alone to teach?

  • Video conferencing with experts from different fields - too much trouble, and who knows, they might give the students the wrong information!
  • More collaboration and sharing with colleagues - how about my personal right to academic freedom?

  • Any changes - too time-consuming, too expensive, not part of the final test requirements.

  • Why should WE change anything? It's even worse elsewhere! We are quite happy with the status quo of mediocricity.

  • Why rock the boat, we can't possibly change the whole system anyway?

No wonder, shifting schools is painfully slow.

Photo: old school book and goodies by crunchcandy on Flickr

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