There is a fallacy that still persists in schooling. It is the fallacy of standardisation and homogenisation and those like Professor Yong Zhao, have been vocal about the negative consequences of continuing down this path. He says:
For a long time education has been about imposing on all children the same set of skills and knowledge prescribed by external authorities instead of helping individual students grow in their own unique way. But the traditional mindset that all students should learn the same thing at the same speed continues to dominate educational practices. In the 21st century, technology and globalization have brought unprecedented changes and these changes demand us to transform education. One critical element of the transformation is about the value of individual uniqueness and human diversity.
The standardisation of schooling has led to the de-personalisation of it. In the drive to become world’s best, we fail to deliver the best outcomes for each and every child. The fact we have more and more students who fall outside the ‘norm’ is evidence that the system continues to fail our students, our parents and our teachers.
That the majority of classroom practice and decision making in schools continues to be centred around the delivery of a standardised curriculum dismisses the individual learner and contributes to the continuing inequalities in the education system. As I have said for many years, when the curriculum drives learning, we have minimised opportunities for teachers to connect deeply with students as individual learners and traded impact for efficiency.
We delude ourselves and our learners if schooling is not seen as a life-giving narrative and students as agents of their own development and vital contributors to the learning community.