Day 167 (of183) Most Likely To Succeed @mltsfilm
This whole thing called school is bullshit. That’s kinda the way the film starts. And I loved it!
The movie: Most Likely To Succeed
The message: Schools were designed to help create standards. Which was appropriate for the day and age (industrial revolution & 19th century arms race & need for standards in factories).
But, as Larry Rosenstock – ceo of high tech high, points out – we are in a different age/world. So much of our world looks very different than the world of 1900…..except for the classroom. His own revelation came from while he was preparing to take the Bar exam – the epitome of “memorize and regurgitate” testing.
As Tony Wagner points out: learning needs to be about more than just test scores – the key curriculum is about test prep – and that doesn’t do anything for the skills students actually need
As the movie shares: they visited schools across the country and found pockets of innovation/different learning everywhere….but finding “the way” to teach is less and less likely of a goal: it depends on too many variables (aka one size don’t fit all!!)
Especially when the movie showed the results of some very well performing test schools – B averages in June turn to Fs when the same test (more or less) is given to the same students 3 months later. And the (albeit early) results of High Tech High are that students still do better than the state average on standardized tests and 98% college acceptance….despite doing schooling very different. High Tech High is not about the technology – though it is a key tool that is there- but so much more so about the process….actually about the planning, the process and the presentation. Going deep into topics rather than cover them all (ie based on AP courses and timeframes, WWII can have up to, but no more than, three days allotted to it).
Students own the work/learning/sharing – with the “deadline” being a community open house presenting all the various works that students have been creating as archives of their learning (and the entry point into figuring out what it is that they need to learn. They highlighted one student that had their project shared at the open house, and another that “wasn’t quite ready yet”. One part of the film identified how important the process was: the growth of both students in different ways – and even though the “presentation” had passed, the learning continued because it was relevant and meaningful.
The key question I took away: should schooling be about “acing the test” (memorizing what to repeat on a test) or something more…….I’m feeling very positive about the work I/we have been doing – focusing on self-regulation, using eportfolios to communicate student learning…..feeling that through library centers and #genioushour & SOLEs that I’m doing good on the planning & process part….but I now need to move towards the presentation being MORE than just what goes into portfolios….there needs to be sharing with the larger community to “receive feedback” from more than just a teacher…
Is it scary? Absolutely – the push/encouragement towards personalized learning journeys if frightening to parents and other adults who did our schooling very different – rows, 45 minute blocks focused on a specific subject, repeat….but can we not do learning a bit differently?
As Sir Ken Robinson wraps things up: the current education system is rooted in the old economy – and why current employees point out that kids who do well in school don’t necessarily have the skills or aptitudes to fill the vacancies they actually have.
A re-affirmation for some of us “education radicals” that we’re pushing in the right direction. A bit of a shock when hearing about students who graduated from top universities are struggling to get real work. A bit of a push to continue to look outside the traditional school mindset.
Overall: a great film that while entertaining, does a better job of introducing tough questions to start talking about and addressing! A must view for educators.