Black and White Makes Octarine: False Dichotomies in Education

Black and White Makes Octarine: False Dichotomies in Education

Note: Some of these might offend some of my readers. If they do, I apologize in advance. My intention is merely to emphasize that these issues are far more complex than so many ‘education specialists’ and ‘thought-leaders’ out there make them seem:

False Dichotomies in Education:

  • The Edtech Evangelists: You’re either using technology in your class or you’re a dinosaur.
  • The PD Pushers: If you’re not tirelessly updating your skills, you’re irrelevant.
  • The Cuddlies: If you don’t care for the heart, you miss the mind.
  • The Neuro-determinists: I have quite a few clever kids in my class – and then there are the ‘strugglers’. (Or vice versa.)
  • The Pedagogical Preachers: Teaching is either teacher-led or student-centered.
  • The Conference Sound-Biters: We can do what’s good for us or what’s good for them.
  • The ’21st Century’ Skills Club: Either we teach content or skills.
  • The Neophiles: New is good. Old is bad.
  • Kohn’s Misreaders: The solution to too much homework is no homework.
  • The Gritters: Kids either learn grit or they wallow in failure.
  • The Righteously Rigorous: If all we do is play and be creative, kids will never learn discipline and rigor.
  • The Exam Expungers: We have to personalize assessments or else standardized tests will stunt learning.
  • The Motivational Mavens: Education is either 100% engaging or it is drudgery.
  • The Passion Fruits: If you don’t teach with passion you shouldn’t teach.
  • Employers Everywhere: Teachers teach because they love teaching, not because they care about money.
  • The Brain Busters: Some kids are left-brained, some are right-brained.
  • The Tinkerers: Learning is either hands-on or it is inaccessibly abstract.
  • The Product Partisans: Apple or Samsung / Google or Microsoft.
  • The STEMers: STEM subjects are more valuable in the modern world than the Arts.
  • The ‘Real World’ Rationalizers: We either prepare them for an exam or we prepare them for life.
  • The Global Contextualizers: Either sound learning principles are universal or they are contextual.
  • The Growth Groupies: Children either learn to adopt a growth mindset or they are lost.
  • The Parent Trappers: Parents are either with us or against us.

Any to add?


Image: Almost “Splash of color” unedited on pc (Miguel M.A.S.)




About Sean Hampton-Cole

Fascinated by thinking & why it goes wrong➫ (Un)teacher ➫iPadologist ➫Humanist ➫Stirrer ➫Edupunk ➫Synthesist ➫Introvert ➫Blogger ➫Null Hypothesist.
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