Espresso Thoughts: On the Moral Imperative to Innovate Education


Espresso Ideas: Small but strong ideas to make you sit up and say ‘yeah!’ (Also known as wasabi ideas)

There are so many new ideas around improving / evolving / revolutionizing education at the moment. To mention but a few: Educational technology, progressive pedagogies (or heutagogies), brain-based research, a new focus on soft skills, collaborative methodologies, project-based learning, and many, many more.

There are so many new things in education these days that it seems to many of us that it would be better just to stick with what we know. After all, it works. Doesn’t it?

Well, yes. It often does. But my question is always about what we are potentially depriving kids of, if we don’t try some of the new innovative ideas in education. Old methodologies do work, for the most part, but what about the stuff our kids might be missing out on?

By all means, let’s do our research and try to distinguish what will work for us and what will not. Let’s even conduct a pilot project and research it ourselves. But, if our kids stand even a remote chance of gaining new skills, dispositions, and competencies they could not have learned the old way, then dammit we have to try. 

Put more strongly: 

How dare we not explore new teaching methodologies if they could potentially make the education we offer our students more effective, meaningful, and relevant?

How dare we not offer our students the chance to become better thinkers, better innovators, and better citizens of the world?

How dare we not allow them to explore their own personal interests, to become more confident and engaged young people, and to be active participants in the world, rather than passive bystanders?

We have a moral imperative to innovate how we teach, and it is simply this: As custodians of learning and the development of young citizens, we are compelled to offer the most effective education we can.

How dare we not?

Child laborers Lewis Hine (4)

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