The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

I just read a post by John Spencer, “Why Aren't Teachers More Innovative?“ I was struck by a comment from a reader. The comment was a question; “What box? That prompted me to think about what “the box” was that so many educators refer to. My personal conclusion is that the box we generally refer to has different dimensions for each and every individual educator.

My understanding of the box, as it is referred to, is a set of limits. Why it has been assigned a square shape as opposed to round I don’t know. Maybe people find the angles of a square more restrictive and egregious than the supple curves of a circle. At any rate, and again this is my understanding, this box has specific boundaries outside which, people with innovative tendencies will strive to break “out of” in order to think.

I guess the first question is what is the box, and then where does it come from? Who created and placed this box out, in which educators must remain? The perimeter of the original box for educators begins with the model of education in which they teach from the early days of industrialization. The tried and true model of American Education that has been unquestionably supported lo these many decades. Of course the Federal, and State Governments have had a hand in establishing the perimeter and adding to the dimensions. The local district probably affects the size of the box most by either expanding, or more often the case, reducing the size of the box. That establishes the initial size of the box educators will be confined to work within.

Weather or not an educator gets outside that box, which is alleged to be a goal, will be determined by how that educator views the box. Although the goal is to get people outside the box, all of the methods of control within the system are designed to keep educators within the box or compliant. This of course is passed along as many educators place controls on students to keep them in their boxes as well. Control and compliance are key methods in our industrial model for education. Industries are based on that. Desks, textbooks, standardized tests, and even Higher Ed in many respects are multi-million dollar industries dependent on compliance of education and everyone remaining in the box.

The real keeper of the box however is the individual educator. The box is usually defined for people by other people. Acceptance of the box however is not always a given. Individuals may expand their box through the experience of others. Through collaboration, educators can experience how others have grown the box and in some cases broken free of the box. Sharing these experiences becomes an essential part of the profession to advance all. If we are to educate students we need to continually educate the educators. Many have jumped the box and that and that needs to be shared. Connected educators continually share these experiences. A key to outside the box is connecting with other educators. Of course this is an idea that will have to be taken to unconnected educators. This may require pen and paper, but it must be delivered to where these educators live. This is a similar method that we apply in the use technology to get to where our students live.

As educators we should NEVER argue for our limitations. In knowing that there is a better way to teach the skill of learning, if we do not pursue that as a goal, are we still the best educators. If we do not strive for relevance in education that is mired in the past because it is steeped in a nineteenth century model, will we harm our students? Teachers can see ’The Box” as an obstacle or a challenge, but “The Box” does exist and it must be recognized. The individual teacher determines the ultimate dimension of the box and whether or not to break out. In order for our students to employ out of the box thinking, we must employ out of the box teaching.

Views: 43

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Greg Quinlivan updated their profile
18 hours ago
jorna sorkar posted an event

Best triple monitor stand at kuwait

January 20, 2017 from 6pm to 7pm
In any case, as an ever increasing number of individuals understand that a vertical screen is unrivaled for their regular errands, most producers are including turns that let you pivot freely. ASUS alone makes almost two dozen distinctive showcases with inherent turns, and keeping in mind that I haven't by and by tried each and every one of them, the brand's sparkling notoriety represents itself with no issue. There are likewise extraordinary rotate amicable choices from AOC and Dell.See More
yesterday
Mark William posted a blog post

How Can Distance Learning Be A Fundamental Factor For Your Career Development?

Distance learning, in general, is beneficial and efficient, but an online business learners conceivably expand a contemporary or prospective career with a solid perception of its overall performance. This is a perception you might be able to obtain at a traditional university, but it’s apparent the online business student will learn it better.Image Courtesy: bit.ly/2j2VNNWIn fact, the US Department…See More
Thursday
Leona Hinton commented on Brenda Savoie's blog post 16 Teaching Apps Which Can Help Students Improve Their Writing
"Good job, Brenda, your collection of teaching resources and tools is brilliant! I'd be glad to complete it with my favorite free online plagiarism checker, your students' writing skills would increase dramatically with this smart…"
Wednesday
Mitch Weisburgh posted an event

Make Your School Something Special: Tech enhanced approaches to School Improvement at http://www.edchatinteractive.org/upcoming-seminars/make-your-school-something-special

January 18, 2017 from 8pm to 9pm
How do you help your school improve for everyone? Teachers can act to improve the personal and professional experiences of themselves and their colleagues, as well as make the learning experiences of their students more effective and more engaging. This includes a number of simple activities one can use in the classroom right away. Join in for an interactive exploration of technology-enhanced approaches to making your school something special. Registere at …See More
Tuesday
Jennifer Broflowski posted a blog post

How to Recognize the "Fluff" and Tips to Avoid It

An attractive piece of writing speaks for itself. It is clear, competent and disseminates only the necessary information. But is this always the case with all writers? The answer is apparent. A good number of writers are victims of writing content full of fluff. Fluff boarders on words that are meaningless to content being written. When fluff is evident in writing, it becomes difficult to understand the message, read…See More
Tuesday
Leona Hinton commented on Eileen Lennon's blog post How do you stay motivated?
"I prefer not to talk about my plans, I only do that if I need somebody's advice to help me to kick-start. "
Monday
Profile IconVijender Singh, Melissa May, Malia Zurcher and 12 more joined The Educator's PLN
Monday

Awards And Nominations

© 2017   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service