The post with the title, Disrupting Education: 8 Ideas That Will Permanently Break Education As We Know It, was shared a few times in my Twitter stream, so I was curious. It’s an interesting read by Terry Heick posted to the TeachThought blog. I was surprised to see a section about parents in education. Idea #7 is:
Parents don’t understand teaching and learning.
Parents speak in the language of terms and compliance because that’s how we speak to them.
They understand grades, behavior, some of the fundamentals of literacy, and other abstractions like effort, inspiration, success, and failure.
But what if they understood how people learn even half as well as most teachers? What if they understood the pros and cons of certain assessment forms (this isn’t rocket science), the inherent limitations of letter grades (there’s no way they don’t already have an instinct for this), or how to coach critical thinking and observation on a daily basis?
Parents are the sleeping giants in education. Think of them as students with 25 years of life experience added on. If they had any clue how poorly education serves most students (no matter how “successful” the student navigates education in its current form), they’d redirect anger currently pointed at teachers and principals, and point it instead at policymakers, and perhaps even take up the task themselves as entrepreneurs.
Hey, there’s an idea.”
I thought some points were valid, but I am still reflecting on the message and if it is one that will help “disruption” or lead to more understanding. It is written from the context of education in the U.S., but I think there is relevance to Canada. I wrote a post in the past with my own questions regarding where parents fit in effective change in education. I am not sure that “redirecting anger” is the most effective approach, but maybe that ends up being the route for parents. Hopefully parents can also work with teachers, principals and policymakers. The avenues to do so are not always clear though.
I welcome your thoughts on this idea or any of the other 7 ideas in the post. All are good food for thought and action.