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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Bigotry of Sameness

I recently presented at the annual Texas Association of School Boards and Texas Association of School Administrators Convention.  The title of my presentation was “Confronting the Bigotry of Sameness: A Vision for Difference-Sensitive Texication.”  (Yep, there’s a title that'll scare ya.)

My point in the presentation was this >>> Kids are DIFFERENT (adults, too, for that matter).  They/We arrive on this planet destined to be different heights, different weights, with different hair color, having different IQs, possessing different gifts, developing different interests, with different talents, and different potentials.  An educational system that insists on homogenizing our children through an accountability system that focuses on a very narrow set of metrics, all measured through dubious and arbitrary means, not only limits the potentials of at least as many students as not, it also diminishes and dishonors those children whose gifts/talents/proclivities lie outside of the “tested” areas. 

My reason for doing the presentation was this >>> Many concerned (fed up?) educators and parents have been pushing back in recent years.  The forces in favor of that educational homogenization process are significant and well-funded.  Parents and communities have it within their power to take back the responsibility for the education of OUR children.  And, we should.

The link to my presentation here.  

The link to a satire I published along the same lines is here.

Honoring the differences of our children, and giving them the opportunities to learn, and demonstrate their learning, through/within their strengths is a much more powerful educational approach than trying to squish each one into the same "box."

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