I found a blog about called “On Connectivism” by Leigh Blackall. In the post Blackall discusses that education is disconnected culture. She wrote that we should be looking at the practices of marketing because they seem to be immersed in culture and keep people’s attention. Blackall also looked at some of the most used sites for information like Wikipedia and found no voices for education. I found her statement about education to be very true:
“There have been a long and barren relationship between education and popular culture for over a century now.”
I have to agree becaue I feel like when I teach it isn’t connecting because it doesn’t relate to their life outside of the classroom. Not to mention, we teach subjects disconnected when in the real world everything goes together. I may teach how to follow a recipe during reading block, how to measure ingredients during math, and what happens when you mix ingredients in science, but never actually do all those things at once like one would in reality. Then there’s the use of technology and gadgets. The children love them, but we don’t use them…granted it can be rather expensive, but still the simplest of things could make the biggest difference. I almost feel like in education we shun popluar culture.
Blackall goes on in the article to make another key point about the disconnect education has from society:
“is what I am doing even relevant anymore? what is my new relationship to this culture – if it becomes dominant in my society?” Journalism has asked itself, the entertainment industry has asked itself, the retail sector has itself, the government arena is asking itself, why not the education sector? So far, too few of us are asking these questions, fewer still are exploring answers.
I wonder every day if what I’m doing is relevant. We’re suppose to be preparing these children for their future. In the world right now the use of technology is booming like crazy, but my district has no formal computer class for students to participate in. Therefore, I feel like some of them will grow up to be brilliant individuals, but life is going to be harder on them since their preparation for life left out a major tool. I don’t understand why a teacher can complain that cursive needs to be taught from 3rd grade through 5th grade and suddenly we teach cursive 3rd through 5th, but I say “Hey they need to know how to type well, to.” and everyone looks at me like I’m an idiot. Writing in cursive is not as relevant to them as it was to us. I feel like we prepare students for their future using the ways we were prepared for our own and we have got to stop that because they deserve to be prepared in ways that benefit them. I think it all starts with getting on board and using the tools available to put ourselves into the culture. At some point, people would catch on and education would have the chance to mean something again.