Emily Berman: It will be a constant battle

I really truly enjoyed Barbara Madeloni’s talk.  She was a very dynamic speaker and raised some very philosophical questions related to pedagogy that we haven’t addressed yet in the forum, but which I feel are vital to address.  Her talk was very inspiring, but at the same time very scary.  It is true that standardized testing is all that I’ve known, and I can’t imagine an education system without it.  But she made me really think about the purpose of these tests and the purpose of our education and the purpose of learning in general.  What is the aim of education?  Would it be so bad if it were people coming together to discuss things?  Do we have to evaluate peoples’ success? She also put in perspective what it would be like to be a teacher during the current state of things; I will be working for a system and paid by a system that I am trying to undermine.  It will be a constant battle.  I will not be fully appreciated.  And she also was honest when she didn’t think change would come soon.  This aspect of the lecture scared me, and made me think about how I need to find my identity within the field of education so I can feel good about my line of work.  I also really appreciated that she didn’t have any answers to our questions, as weird as that sounds.  I think what the education community needs to do right now is raise a lot of questions about what education is in the 21st century and what constitutes learning and how the public school as an institution has changed since it was first created.  We are so eager for change that we aren’t taking a step back and looking at the root of what we want.

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