Standards not Standardization

by | Feb 21, 2015 | 0 comments

2 min read
The pursuit to define what every child should know and at which grade–standardization–is a noble pursuit.  Working to ensure that every child, regardless of their situation or circumstance, receives the very best education should be at the heart of every educational endeavor and reform.  Having clear benchmarks and indicators that guide instruction is paramount to help children succeed.  So why the controversy over standards, assessment, and educational reform?  I wish I had a simple answer.

Whether people believe the movement is borne from fear, such as global competition or America losing its foothold on world affairs, or even more primal reasons, such as  Aldous Huxley’s version of mindless automatons.  Regardless of why, as educators we must take responsibility for our worlds–our classrooms, lecture halls, offices, and schools.  We must embrace excellence without losing sight of the genius that lies among us as individuals.  So as we live and work in the age of standards, let’s ensure we don’t standardize our thinking and professional practice to the degree we lose our ability to think and grow ourselves and our school community.  To blend the two paradoxes–standards and individuality–we must embrace the following five simple principles:

1.  Compassion First: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Zig Ziglar

2. Embrace Boundaries not Rules: “Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.” ~Henry Cloud

3.  Be Proactive: “The best way to predict the future is create it.”  ~Peter Drucker

4.  Know Thyself: (Greek aphorism) “Once we can accept our limits we can go beyond them.”  ~Einstein

5.  Enjoy Life: “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”   ~Goethe

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