Looking Back or Forward?

Looking Behind or Forward?
Jumping in on the April Blog a Day Challenge on Day 5. After blogging daily this past week to complete assignment requirements, it helped me realize how much I do enjoy the practice and routine. With Spring Break ending and a daily challenge ahead, fingers crossed I can keep up with the routine.

Day 5 asks the question, "What practice, tradition, instructional strategy or anything else must die? What needs to stop in order for Education to move forward?" We need to stop doing things in education, at a classroom, school, district, and systems level just because of historical practice. When decisions or practices are rationalized with statements beginning with "Traditionally, In the past, or Historically" with no mention of the present or future, we are stuck in park or neutral as opposed to making forward progress.

Think about driving your car. The rearview mirror allows you to analyze things happening behind you and provides data to influence your driving decisions. Simultaneously, the view outside the front and side windows continuously provides data as to where you're headed. We need both perspectives to successfully and safely reach our destination. Driving using only the rearview mirror is best suited for traveling in reverse. If we drive without consulting our mirrors, we lose valuable perspectives on what is occuring around us. As experienced drivers we rely on both perspectives but spend much more time looking forward than consulting the rearview mirror.

Within education, if we are continuing to do ___(insert practice here)___ only because that is how we have done it historically, traditionally, or in the past, then we are not neccessarily utilizing the view in front of us. This may be an indication that our educational rearview mirror has become so large that it clouds our vision. My fear is that the rearview mirror is often driving educational decision-making as opposed to providing important data to be considered in relation to a clearly visible destination ahead.