Friday, November 03, 2006

Juggernauts and handbrake turns

Interesting post today from Kathy Sierra (one of my all-time favourite bloggers). She's exploring the relevance of the sort of skills imparted in science courses - comparing what is taught to what skills are actually exercised in these fields. This subject has traction and has been explored from various angles by numerous people across a wide range of disciplines. I have to agree with some of the comments that the problem is not unique to the USA. I have been directly exposed to the education systems of two countries (UK and South Africa), and via the blogosphere have vicariously encountered concerns surrounding the Canadian, US and Australian systems.

Recently, during a Learning and Teaching lecture, we were exploring the concept of PLEs in schools. I posted recently on this point, but the lecturer advised me that the matter was receiving attention from on high.

While these are two separate issues, I think they suffer from the same limitations: the bureaucracy and red tape associated with state education systems. We have recognised the changes that need to be made. We know what direction should be going in, but the turnaround time is frustratingly slow. After all, government departments are akin to juggernauts and don't do handbrake turns very well. Perhaps we need to be looking at ways to restructure the education system to improve response times. For all I know - perhaps "we" already are, but that's yet another juggernaut turn. Maybe what we need is a streamlined, nippy little system like the Minis in "The Italian Job".

I wish.

No comments: