One of my favorites hobbies is golfing. I started golfing in high school and still go out and play 18 holes when I get the chance. I come from a family of golfers as my dad and grandpa both played. When my grandpa started golfing he had to use wooden clubs, because that was the best they had at the time. Today we have golf clubs made from titanium, graphite, carbon fiber, and a huge list of other materials that are all stronger and lighter than the wooden clubs. You will not see a professional golfer using a wooden golf club anytime soon as the game of golf has changed over the years and as the courses got longer and tougher, the tools and techniques had to change. But it is not just the tools that have changed, we do not use the same techniques and methods as in the past. As courses and tools have changed, how we approach our swing and techniques have changed.
So why then do we allow professional learners – TEACHERS – to use out-dated technology and techniques that have been surpassed by tools and methods that are more efficient and effective? Our schools and world are not the same as they were in the past yet we have a lot of people still using the tools and techniques of the past. We are still tied to a factory model education, one where the teacher is the focus and the students are bystanders in their learning, that did what it was supposed to do in the past, but our students’ futures will be so different than the past we are preparing them for. The use of slide projectors or overhead projectors when we have better tools, the use of worksheets when students can be creating and publishing, the use of a textbook as the main resource when we have access to the information of the world; why do all of these happen when we have better tools and methods available to us?
As I have heard others say and I want to restate – You wouldn’t go to a doctor who was using 19th century tools and techniques, then why would you teach that way? Our tools and our students have changed, which means we must adapt and learn.