Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Culture in Question

Roland Barth says, "Show me a school whose inhabitants constantly examine the school's culture and work to transform it into one hospitable to sustained human learning, and I'll show you students who graduate with both the capacity and the heart for lifelong learning."

In almost every school mission statement, you can find a line about lifelong learning and the culture of the school. Where, in this age of standardized testing, in an age where teachers feel an incredible, unbelievable, and riduculous amount of pressure to create students who can perform well on tests, is the lifelong learning? If you ask me, and I'm sure Roland Barth would agree, the price of short-term success is long-term failure.

Standardized tests are used to measure everything about everyone. Everything, that is, except the extent to which our teachers and students and classes and schools and communities are turning out lifelong learners.