"in order for a perception to change one must be frustrated in one's actions or change one's purpose." Postman & Weingartner
This is why it is so hard to be a change agent in a school (or other established system). Agents of change are the ones who rock the boat, they are the ones that point out (and sometimes create) frustration in another person's actions that requires this perception change. This change agent can be a teacher, principal, student, parent, or community member--really anyone can be a change agent. Problem is, if this is your job you are going to make a lot of people angry if you are successful. But, it is a catch 22. You may be ridden out of town for bringing this frustration upon the people you work with. The same is true of students. How many students are transferred to an other school for being disruptive? How often does that student force a teacher to reconsider why there was disruption in their classroom? How often, when seeing teacher perception as part of the problem, has a progressive administrator acted in a way that was simply perceived as "coddling the bad kids?"
"no one can force anyone else to change his perception." Postman & Weingartner
"Why, one asks, if these teachers know their students' problems can they not help them? Perhaps because (cont) http://tl.gd/754uej
In my first full-time teaching position I had a lot of students who tended to become "art students" because they found the learning environment in my class one of the only ones where they were not constantly viewed as being the "disruptive jerk." This didn't mean that I was necessarily any better than anyone else with classroom management (in fact, to the vocal majority at that school who viewed any classroom noise a sign of misbehavior a weakness I was definitely perceived as having serious deficiencies in this area). I eventually left that position for a number of reasons but one big reason was this issue. Teachers who had these "jerks" in their classrooms who always saw them as needing "punishment" saw me as being easy on them because I never wrote detentions for them and never sent them to the office for discipline. I didn't think that was what they needed. These kids were smart kids, just had the wrong environment for them 6/7 hours of the day. But no, something must have been wrong with my classroom management style because I didn't discipline these kids. In fact, I never saw the need to discipline kids so long as we established a mutually open and honest relationship with each other. I left that school when in a meeting with the principal, he told me, "There is no one school that can possibly serve the needs of all students. Some students we just have to let go as lost causes." This has stuck with me and probably will stay with me for the remainder of my career. While what he said was probably true for most schools, making this kind of declaration means giving up on our obligation to serve all who wish a public education. I have always found this attitude rather negligent albeit practical. That principal had accepted the system as unalterable for these "problem" students. While I believe he felt the first part of this statement to be true he also felt it was impossible to change the perception of the other teachers, to convince them to listen to their students and know what their needs were.
"We know from the available research that sometimes perceptions can be changed if the point of view of the (cont) http://tl.gd/754v3g
"There should be a general prohibition against the use of the following words and phrases: teach, syllabus, (cont) http://tl.gd/7553rc
"It is astonishing that so many people do not recognize the extent to which hypocrisy and drivel poison the (cont) http://tl.gd/75556d
"There are teachers—some of whom have been at it for ten or 15 years—who know how desperately change is (cont) http://tl.gd/7556hu
"In their anxiety at having their academic Linus blanket taken away, their first response is to attack us (cont) http://tl.gd/755aak
"A woman loses her virtue by doing something she shouldn't a student becomes a good teacher by doing (cont) http://tl.gd/755hg7
"It is quite probable that the most original 'problem solving' activity students engage in in school is (cont) http://tl.gd/755jk8
I have often thought this myself. In fact. I think we should reward students who find clever ways to cheat the system. First, it points out flaws in the system, and second, it surely demonstrates a highly sophisticated ability. I also suspect that a lot of students who do find clever ways to cheat do so not so much because the content is too hard for them but because it is the only way to make it interesting. Either way, cheating ought to be seen as an indicator of a failure on the teacher's part as much as a misbehavior of the student.
"Administrators are another curious consequence of a bureaucracy which has forgotten its reason for being." Postman & Weingartner
"The idea that the school should consist of procedures specifically intended to help learners learn strikes (cont) http://tl.gd/755m4n
This why bureaucracies create content standards.
"The developments in 'educational technology' are intended to do all of the old school stuff better—and (cont) http://tl.gd/755nna
@anderscj are you quoting "teaching as a subversive activity"? so sad so little has changed since it was written so long ago.