Becoming the Machine

I frequently use a manufacturing model to describe our education system.  Our students roll down the assembly line where we install math on them, and we install reading, and science, and social studies, and at the end of the line our quality control engineers measure each product to make sure that it complies with the blueprints — to make sure that every student knows exactly the same things.

Yesterday, I suggested that assessment should be much more like the performances that I saw in the universiity theatre the other night, or my son’s band performances, or my daughters ROTC drill team.  I’m not sure what this would look like for reading, math, science, social studies, and health.  It would take more creative minds than mine to paint that picture. 

I think I’m suggesting that we turn things around a bit, and make our students the machines, and make it their job to perform the product.  Turn the students into the engine and teach the kids to work, not just learn.  Rehersals are very much like the learning engine that I envision.  The students work together, performing their parts, feeding off of each others work, knowledge, and experience, to enrich their own performance, regardless of whether they are an actor, lighting technician, director, muscians, etc. 

Again, I’m not sure what this would look like in a science class.  But I think there is a way.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.