Is Real Educational Reform Possible? If So, How?
From the dawn of institutionalized schooling until now there have always been reformers, who want to modify the way schooling is done. For the most part, such reformers can be scaled along what might be called a liberal-conservative, or progressive-traditionalist, continuum. At one end are those who think that children learn best when they are happy, have choices, study material that is directly meaningful to them, and, in general, are permitted some control over what and how they learn. The pendulum never moves very far before it is pushed back in the other direction, because neither type of reform works. Such back-and-forth nudging of the pendulum is the stuff of continuous debate and of countless books written by professors of education. What do I mean by real educational reform? Real educational reform, as I see it, requires a fundamental shift in our understanding of the educational process. They do all this on their own initiative, with essentially no direction from adults.