Where Have We Gone Wrong in Education?

One of the reasons I started this blog was to secure my beliefs in education and to try to stay true to what I believe in my practice. I am a natural reflector, but writing my thoughts down has helped me learn and grow as I learn more about myself. When I first began teaching preschool, I was bombarded with ideas that I did not agree with. I wondered where had developmentally appropriate practice
gone? I would search and search to try to find other like minded individuals. The practices that I was seeing was in such stark contrast to what I believed to be true it made me wonder if I had been deceiving myself about what developmentally appropriate practice meant. Had I misread the work in university? When everyone around me is doing things completely differently, how could I be the only dissenter? I was relieved when I eventually did find like minded individuals and I saw them practicing what I believed should be going on in education. Don't get me wrong, I do not believe everyone's classrooms should look the same, but I do believe that they should be intentional and deep rooted in what is considered appropriate practices in early childhood development.

Recently, I have been reading stories such as the following: http://investigatingchoicetime.com/2016/03/teaching-kindergarten/
When I read the part about the teacher that wanted to allow the kids to play in a hands on way in order to learn about shapes, but the supervisor disagreed and would rather that the children would quiz each other using flash cards, it resonated with me. So often, in my own practice my methods were questioned. They were never questioned by the parents. The parents always expressed gratitude and saw how their children were growing and learning. No, the questioning always came from my colleagues and supervisors. However, they never had the gumption to be outright with their thoughts. Everything was always stated to me in a very indirect manner which made the situations even more uncomfortable. I know that a lot of the issues in education stem from politics, but I always wondered what made other educators who have had the same education I have had lose sight of appropriate practices? This is a much harder conversation to have because it is hard for the recipient to not feel judged and be in defense mode given that many times they may even have more experience and are deeply set in their beliefs. They would not do what they are doing if they thought it to be wrong. This is something that has been bothering me for a long time and I still have yet to find the answer. These are people who care about children or they would not be doing the work. I read about how Kindergarten is taught in Canada or in other countries. There teachers seem to be on the same page. Therefore, does this problem stem from the university level? Are we not all getting the same education? I do not know the answers to these questions, but I hope that one day we can all come together and agree on what research has been consistently saying for decades about child development.

April 18 2016