The past 2 weeks my students have been studying the moon. Today during the review I said a word I have heard way too often lately, but this was in a different context and I heard something in it I haven’t heard before.
We were reviewing the stages of the formation of the moon. Their text (yeah I know, gasp, I used the text, but this is why) has a pretty cool illustration of the formation of the moon. It broke it into 3 stages: collision, re-forming, and Earth & moon. So during review I went back over it, collision is where an object hit the Earth *obvious *, then I got to the next stage “re-forming.” Before I could explain one of the kids called out that “re-forming” was obvious as well. I asked the student to elaborate. She said “reform, (not re-forming, reform. that is that word I keep hearing!) it was broken, in pieces everywhere. Then it all just started coming together. By the end it was one piece, the moon.”
REFORM. How many times in the last week have you heard that word? Seriously? Here is Wikipedia’s definition:
Reform means to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by change of color or removal of faults or abuses. Beneficial change, more specifically, reversion to a pure original state, to repair, restore or to correct.
So lets look at this definition and the one my student beautifully explained. Lets play “did it say?” I play this with my kids, even my own children a lot. Did it say to sit around and gripe? NO. Did it say to have non-experts on a TV show call themselves experts? NO. Did it say point out the things that are negative and hope for the best? NO. Did it say to compare apple and oranges? NO.
NO NO NO. Wikipedia uses word like “repair, restore, improved form, beneficial change (I LOVE THIS ONE), and removal of faults.” My student said “it was broken…it all just started coming together…by the end it was one piece.”
WOW how awesome would it be if education reform was looked at in that manner? If those “experts” used these terms? We seriously need a beneficial change caused by everything coming together. Propaganda, politicians who are un-qualified for their jobs, experts whose only experience in a classroom was as a student or the day the press caught them visiting one, is not the path needed to take for this reform. Goals need to be stated. Teachers who are passionate need to be heard. Teachers who are labeled as “sub-par” need to be helped and taught. Most of all schools (not charter, but regular public schools) need to be praised for what they are doing correctly and used as examples for those not on the right path.
Lets take what is broken, come together, and be one piece. Stop the teacher/school bashing. Stop the non-experts giving opinions. Just stop. Start beneficial change.