Gatekeepers or Tour Guides

Would you rather…

Let’s play a game of Would You Rather? Here we go…

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Masterful MindMap courtesy of Elaine

If you were an employer in charge of hiring new employees, would you rather have candidates capable of answering questions OR candidates capable of solving problems?

Next question…

If you were in charge of equipping students with 21st century readiness, would you rather they gained information OR they were able to apply information en route to creating new ideas and solving problems.

I know…I baited you on those. In true Mr. T fashion, I pity the foo’! that responded with the former on either question.

Here’s the problem. We say we want idea makers and problem solvers. We know we need idea makers and problem solvers. Yet, the model for EdWorld promotes quite the opposite.


Because an idea maker and a problem solver cannot be made into a number. The right (or wrong) answer can be. Idea making and problem solving is not a standardizationable skill. Answering a question correctly (or incorrectly) is.

Long ago as a high school Geometry student I gained insight into this paradox. I enjoyed Geometry. Specifically, I enjoyed solving proofs. I was good at solving proofs. I, however, would typically take more steps to solve a proof than what were necessary.

Same answer. Different process. Problem solved.

I was not commended for solving the proof. I was told I took too many steps.

Same answer. Different process. Problem solved…Better luck next time.

It comes down to a matter of teaching kids vs. educating them. Do we value—I mean truly value—the process or the product? Better yet…are we the gatekeepers or are we the tour guides?

Kids don’t need information. Well, at least not much. [Take-your-pick-search-engine] has taken care of that. Let’s take the information that is already at their fingertips, fill in the blanks, then explode their brains by allowing them to explore innovative ways to use it.

Seriously, folks. Information has changed. The way we get information has changed.

EdWorld—it’s time to wake up, smell the coffee, and adapt your methods to meet the needs of the students whom you serve!

We exist and teach in a model that promotes “college and career readiness” yet runs kids through a standardized system that produces students who are not truly prepared to excel in college or career.

We want to #PivotTheModel. Join the cause! Make a difference! Change the world! #NeverSummer