Saturday, March 9, 2013

Education Project Runway Style

The latest season of Project Runway (it's the teams edition--advertised as "There's no I in TEAM") has really got me thinking.

How many of you would HIRE someone who came into an interview and announced the following:

  • I prefer to work alone (translation: I'm terrible at working collaboratively).
  • I am really good at book work (translation: I can't apply my knowledge to real-world problems).
Now, how many of the TOP secondary students in our current education system would proudly say . . . 
  • I hate working in groups.
  • Standardized test scores are what I have to show for my educational career.
Seems there's a giant disconnect between "real world" skills we want to hire and skills learned within traditional schools. 

What do you think?
Wordle.of the ISTE Nets for Students


David Dutrow said...


I agree this is a huge disconnect. Traditionally, I think school is something teachers, admins, and society have expected students to survive -- something of a rite of passage. When students enter the real world, we allow them to begin being free, thinking critically and creatively, and "show" what they have "learned" in school.

The problem, obviously, is that we expect students to display skills we don't teach them or model for them in schools (I'm speaking generally; I know quite a few teachers do, though "schools" and "systems" often do not).

It's wonderfully odd how many people think PBL is revolutionary when it's just asking students to begin what the world wants them to do in the real world once they graduate.

Thanks for posting this. I haven't learned so much from Project Runway since Santino's Tim Gunn impressions.

Rachelle Wooten said...

I understand your sentiment. Yet I'm not completely against standardized tests, I think they have their place. They just shouldn't be the only measure for assessing knowledge. I'm a big supporter of performance-based tests! In my opinion that's the best way for students to demonstrate mastery of the much-needed "real-world" skills. #wootenism (my thoughts)

Joy Kirr said...

I see more and more students who have a hard time working with other students..., and those same students are very worried about their state test scores. I've seen them cry with anxiety about them. It takes years to develop these attitudes, and will probably take years for them to break them, as well. I'm with you.