Day 82 (of 185) on MLK day, thinking of @sirkenrobinson observation of an educational segregation
Today marks the US recognition of Martin Luther King a Day – a symbolic remembrance of the work done (and still going on) to remove segregationist and enable better (empathic?) understandings of race, gender, mindsets etc. Some with great success….sometimes with a wish to remove certain embarrassing historical moments/decisions – but always hopefully to learn from our histories.
And yet there is one seemingly minor “method of organization” that I try to bring up….one that has been repeatedly highlighted via the talks of Sir Ken – a continuation of the industrial approach to education, we still organize learners primarily based on “date of manufacture”. And it bugs me when we start looking at data based on these misleading numbers…..because to be reading/writing/matching at grade level may mean a big difference for someone born in January vs someone born 11 months later…..
…..and that leads many families to debate if their December-born child should enter school with their peers that have the same calendar year in common (worked for me!) or hold off and enter school the next year (worked for many!) with the tricky part bing…..there are many that may benefit from not being rushed…..But really, even the month doesn’t matter nor guarantee academic success.
There is a lot of debate and discussion about multi-age learning groups (or split classrooms) and moare learning about how the brain works. Together this has led to a better growth MindShift to synthesize our thinking around segregation. Because there are times that may be appropriate…..but the thinking about our thinking AND about our prior thinking is vital. It is what has led our district to promote and support initiatives such as Truth and Reconcilliation Allies http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-january-4-2016-1.3388195/how-non-indigenous-allies-can-help-make-trc-recommendations-a-reality-1.3388230 and collaborations that change thinking from me/us/them to “we”.
For myself, a day (even though it’s based in another country) like MLK Day is important – to reflect on what has been done and why, and consider what we are currently doing so that we can mindfully choose why we will do what we do next….not because we have to….not because it is easier nor harder….but because it’s the right thing to do.