In the video Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin, the idea of what is school for is explored. Seth first discussed the birth of the education system and how it blossomed from the industrial revolution. The idea behind public education was not to create more scholars but to create more workers and consumers. I believe that this is exactly how the education system was designed and what it still promotes. It promotes semi-obedient people who will follow what you tell them because you told them. However, this is something we must change if we want to be competitive in the 21st century.
Seth discussed the development of standardized testing. It was a purposeful test designed to classify people due to the high enrollment of students. However, even the designer of the standardized test quickly discovered its irrelevancy and was fired for questioning the use of standardized tests. When I heard this fact, I was astonished that although people have actively spoke out against standardized testing since the beginning of its time, it is still used as the primary measure of learning. It is time that this old notion is changed. Seth discussed the idea of having open book and open note tests. I agree with this idea, that anything worth memorizing is also worth looking up. I never understood why it was important to memorize the month and day an event occurred in history. To me it was more important to understand how that date was important to the historical event. For instance, it was more important to learn that Pearl Harbor occurred on a Sunday which would empower the day of choice and how surprised everyone was at the attack. More than it was to know that Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.
As an educator, I am prepared to face difficult challenges. Often I hear other teachers stating that they are unwilling to teach a topic because they do not know the answers or feel uncomfortable. I always found that to be a poor excuse not to teach. Teachers are not supposed to be perfect. In fact, they should be modeling the imperfections that occur in life. My believe is that no one will ever know everything, and therefore as a teacher I need to model what it is like to go from a state of not knowing the answer to becoming an expert.
After watching the video, I was able to take away several messages that will improve education. Seth discussed the importance of having focused education. Our world is specialized, and it requires specific education. Although students should be well rounded in education, they should have an education that is tailored to them. Students should have access to courses. Although I understand the purpose of prerequisites, I also see how they limit education. Students should be able to access education because they want to learn, not because they followed a check list. Lastly, assessments should be based on experience not test scores. Schools should value experience just as the workforce values experience. I believe that change within the education system is needed and with these goals we can improve education.