The Band of Personality v. Expertise
First, let’s accede how Duncan, Gates, Rhee, and Khan accomplished their cachet as educators, educational leaders, and educational reformers.
Secretary of Apprenticeship Duncan absolved the aisle of arrangement to his cachet in education.
Peter Smagorinsky puts it best:
And Michelle Rhee? Bypass the apprenticeship enactment by not accepting any degrees in education, become a baton by entering the classroom through TFA, advise three years, and afresh attain your believability by battlefront agents and creating an apprenticeship arrangement congenital on counterfeit analysis data.
This brings us aback to Sal Khan—whose wikipedia folio identifies him as an “American educator.”
Pretty absorbing because he, like Rhee, Duncan, and Gates, has no degrees in education, and like Duncan and Gates, has no acquaintance teaching.
Sal Khan got annoyed of his day job, started apprenticeship his relatives, fabricated some videos, and now is a full-fledged educator. And according to CBS, he may be the approaching of education.
Ironically, Khan and his academy do action us a able assignment about apprenticeship and apprenticeship reform, a assignment afresh by Duncan, Gates, and Rhee:
The band of personality can accumulate you accessible acclaim and accolades as an drillmaster and reformer, but that ballyhoo is all glitz, ultimately causing added abuse than good.
Let me acknowledgment to my contempo allocution at CEFPI. Throughout the day, I noticed that speakers and participants at this conference—primarily architects, technology experts, engineers, and administrators—argued for the use of technology to abutment individualized, student-centered apprenticeship as able-bodied as project-based learning.
Two things are absorbing about this pattern.
The participants and speakers appeared to accept that those account (individualized, student-centered apprenticeship and project-based learning) were innovative, embodied by the “new wave” account of Khan. (I am consistently absorbed that bodies who accept no accomplishments or acquaintance in apprenticeship can assurance that account generated alfresco of apprenticeship accept somehow never been advised by educators.)
During the final console presentation at the conference, I acclaimed two things for the participants and speakers.
First, I antiseptic that agents accept never fabricated action decisions for apprenticeship in the U.S. If apprenticeship has failed, as best bodies claim, that abortion isn’t the aftereffect of decisions fabricated by educators.
Second, I a them that individualized, student-centered acquirements and project-based acquirements were championed by John Dewey a aeon ago and affected by William Heard Kilpatrick in the 1930s.
Khan, I added, is not actuality innovative, if, in fact, his video-based acquirements is advocating what they claim. But above that, Khan has no ability as an educator.
Khan has been a arch apprentice (if we can assurance wikipedia), but that doesn’t accomplish addition an drillmaster any added than actuality a arch amateur assures that actuality can coach. Or that actuality a common flyer qualifies a actuality to pilot a plane.
Khan’s plan for apprenticeship fails additionally on abounding added levels:
• Prepackaging agreeable insures a changeless access to ability and understanding. This is the capital abortion of the “banking concept” of apprenticeship denounced by Paulo Freire.
• Focusing on agreeable leaves the apprentice out of any accommodation authoritative affair what should be abstruse and why. Teaching is bargain to a account industry and acceptance are, then, aloof acquiescent and antisocial customers.
• Video lectures are about little altered than a textbook, and appropriately backpack the aforementioned acceptable limitations textbooks do.
• Added and added 18-carat experts who are analytical Khan’s videos are advertisement that the agreeable is generally of a low quality; the videos may be engaging, but accurateness is actuality sacrificed.
In the big picture, Khan, again, is assuming what is about amiss with U.S. accessible apprenticeship and the abiding move to ameliorate it: We are trapped in the band of personality and blank the astronomic abundance of ability that exists in the classrooms of K-12 academy and universities beyond the U.S.
The band of personality is a egoistic dynamic. In the accepted personality-based apprenticeship ameliorate movement, Duncan, Gates, Rhee, and Khan are all agriculture their own aggrandizement.
Theirs is not about capitalism or apprentice freedom or abecedary professionalism.
With the afterlife of U.S. accessible education, the band of personality is additionally sacrificing expertise.
Teachers as professionals, agents as experts are enduring. Ability deserves our attention.
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