Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Challenge to Education (30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 17)

What is the most challenging issue in education today?

This is a monumental question that could easily take hours, days, weeks, and years to reflect upon.  The answer that follows is my initial thought on the subject; it could change as I spend more time pondering the idea.


Schools often have a difficult time keeping pace with a rapidly changing society.  When it comes to change, schools sometimes operate at a snail's pace.  There are many reasons for this including social, economic, and political pressures that make rapid change nearly impossible.  There are also structural obstacles such as traditional schedules and age cohorts that group students together based upon their age rather than other attributes, such as skills or interests.  Sir Ken Robinson speaks elegantly upon this issue, going so far as to accuse schools of "killing creativity," because they are not innovating quickly enough.  

While there are great deal of expectations upon schools to provide students with the skills and habits of learning that they need, to allow them to be competitive in an increasingly globalized world, schools also struggle to keep pace with evolving technology.  It's not due to a lack of effort, however.  Administrators and teachers know what students need, and they are doing their best to design learning opportunities that address this issue.  While progress is being made, schools are increasingly working with limited resources and are being challenged by testing requirements, aging infrastructures, and increasing poverty.  

I've addressed the prompt for the day, and am now left to think about what the solution might be.