Encouraging Educator Courage
Education research doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, but let’s be honest: There’s already enough of it to help us decide what to do (or stop doing) on many critical issues. Likewise, there are plenty of examples of outstanding classrooms and schools in which that research is being put into practice. What’s lacking is sufficient courage for those examples to be widely followed.
It pains me to say this, but professionals in our field often seem content to work within the constraints of traditional policies and accepted assumptions—even when they don’t make sense. Conversely, too many educators seem to have lost their capacity to be outraged by outrageous things. Handed foolish and destructive mandates, they respond only by requesting guidance on how to implement them.
The Cowardly Lion was able to admit that he lacked what made the muskrat guard his musk. Cowardly humans are more likely just to change the subject. Propose something that makes a meaningful difference, and you’ll hear, “But we’ve always ...,” “But the parents will never ...,” “But we can’t be the only school in...
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