The great American pedagogue, John Dewey, believed schooling could be summed up by stating that its locus was in the teacher and textbooks – everywhere except the child and their activities. Perhaps teachers have always been afraid of releasing control to the kind of learning tasks that are social, collaborative and chaotic.
So it was interesting to hear Anrig Professor Richard Elmore’s thoughts last week on what he thinks schools should be doing to allow student learning to flourish. The message remains very simple, challenge young people and don’t project your expectations on them. Is this what we mean when we say schools need to let go of the past?