School change: the beliefs that guide our schools

by Steve Wyckoff on May 6, 2010

Several years ago a superintendent who was a friend of mine sent an e-mail to the superintendent’s listserv. He asked if any of the superintendents who were members of the list had a set of beliefs by which they operated their schools.

I responded to him, okay sarcastically, that based on my observation of what was going on in our schools, I had created a list of beliefs that as educators we must obviously hold, because in practice, we were demonstrating our beliefs.

So here is the list of belief statements that I put together:
1. All kids learn at the same rate.
2. All kids learn in the same way.
3. All kids in the same grade are ready to learn the same things at the same time.
4. All kids enter a class knowing nothing that will be taught in the class.
5. Not all kids can learn.
6. Schooling kids is more important than educating kids.
7. Kids learn best when they are bored.
8. You can’t learn if you’re not there.
9. The purpose of schools is to prepare kids to go to college.
10. Kids who do not get prepared to go to college came to us broken.
11. Textbook is synonymous with curriculum

Perhaps if we really want school change we should start with a different set of beliefs. – Steve Wyckoff

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