Flexibility against your better judgment?

There is a lot going on in education. There is a new vision and an important starting point in this vision is that we must become more resilient.

Tina Ten ProbioticsSo I can do something flexibly. I understand, for example, that we need more practice in education, and in this way we create more urgency. We can offer students more choices, both in terms of content and form of education.

But there seems to be more. Stand meetings, camp meetings, and so-called data points should be used. Students come up with their own assignments, choose learning outcomes and order lessons themselves. I’m still somewhat of a fan, often wondering later: Yes, but how then, what does that look like in concrete terms?

When I try to visualize it, I see a very large space in front of me with a ping pong table in the middle, where students and teachers (oh no, coaches) walk around getting lost and where they work “agile” and something with scrum gets done.

In the new curriculum, all subjects of compulsory knowledge should disappear, because after all, the student himself decides what knowledge he needs and when: a question of self-organized learning. Knowledge or theory is automatically intertwined with the practical task. (While we secretly know this isn’t done often or is very enforced.)

Then I think: Aren’t facts and knowledge so important in a world that seems to be less and less important? Where is science ignored for power or popularity? It’s no longer about knowledge, it’s just about attitudes and skills? In other words, can someone with smooth chatter but no knowledge rule the world? (Okay, that’s a slightly open door, but we all know how that ended.)

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Classrooms must also be reformed and we will go to learning communities of about 50 students. This way, students can learn more from each other and there are options for some practical assignments and partnerships.

But don’t we know that smaller classes create more communication, better social and emotional well-being for the student and ultimately also lead to better outcomes? Do we have to open up all the classrooms and set up ping pong tables, only to find out that it probably doesn’t quite work for these large learning communities after all?

And to get back to the above facts and science: Sometimes I miss that little bit in this whole story of resilience. Can’t we learn from past experiences with resilience or educational reform? I think it’s important what kind of training you get in terms of content and volume, and what the professional field requires. What aspects of flexibility work for which study program and which student, what experiences are there, and the do’s and don’ts? What does the student really want, is he waiting for this?
Sometimes it seems as though everyone is doing something and hoping or praying that it all works out.

From column Van Rens van der Forest was in Bron earlier this school year on the spot and sums up the above very well: difference is not always better, better is better!

Tina Ten Brugenkat is a lecturer at the Fontes University of Applied Sciences and a researcher in the School of Man and Technology.

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