I wonder why people are so afraid of change? I am working with faculty to try and redesign the elementary education major, yet there is still so much resistance to doing things differently. We live in times that are open to real educational reform; bold thinking is needed now to be able to capitalize on this pendulum swing.
I remember reading Neil Postman's Teaching as a Subversive Activity as an undergraduate. What an amazing book, yet a mere 11 years later, he completely reversed his thinking and wrote Teaching as a Conserving Activity. Both books contain well-reasoned, thoughtful ideas; Postman responded to the shifting context of education and wrote what he thought was needed for the particular times in which he lived. I admire his audacity and humility in being able to show how the world how his thinking changed, even though it cost him some supporters. Interestingly, he ends Subversive with the words "or vice versa," realizing that he could be wrong, was open to that possibility, and invited readers to consider his ideas against their own thoughts about the topic. I'd love to see more of this willingness to admit one's fallibility in the world. It's especially rare to see among politicians and us academicians. We make our bread and butter by being known for our thoughts on a topic. What if we find out we were wrong?
Let's stop wasting time trying to defend ourselves, and let's move forward, with humble hearts and fallible, questioning minds, to solving the core educational questions of our times: Why aren't students succeeding in school? What core knowledge, skills, and perspectives do they need to have to be successful? How can we help them be successful? How can we train teachers to be facilitators who increase students' chances of success in the world?