Question Everything.

This weekend an interesting thread started with this tweet:

First, these general tweets that are all fluff are annoying. They are meant to not ruffle any feathers and at the same time generate likes and retweets. The problem is they stifle thinking. Education isn’t as simple as this general platitude. Then I saw a tweet I agreed with.

Doug Timm responded with this:

Here is someone who is questioning and attempting to push the conversation forward. This is just one of the many reasons I appreciate Doug Timm. He is always questioning. This started a great conversation with @dingleteach and @justinaion about how important family is and how we can’t just ignore teachers and admin and think that strictly focusing on kids is going to solve the education’s problems. If the adults in the building aren’t happy that spreads down to the children.

The next person I came across as questioning things that most people just agree with without much thought is Dr. Justen O’Connor. His blog would make Rich Wiles snort with appreciation. Check out this blog about apps in #PhysEd. Just because something deals with technology doesn’t automatically make it engaging nor does it mean that it is sound pedagogical practice. This thought stood out to me:

Some of the tech being churned out is about as educationally relevant as a spur of the moment game of dodgeball, run the gauntlet or line soccer. One P.E. Games App, promoted as a ‘superb mobile resource for PE teachers’ and advocated on social media, promotes last man standing, a game (clearly for only the male students in the class) where even the ‘weaker’ jump ropers can stay in provided don’t stop. When they do, guess what, they sit down while the others keep going. Imagine a Mathematics app that had all the kids stand up in a room, recite times tables in their heads until they couldn’t do any more and then one by one sit down. At its best, this is lazy pedagogy yet there it is, unchallenged and pushed on to teachers for 99c.

Here is another blog he penned that shows how we need to be critical of the data we are collecting in regards to our student’s health. He masterfully illustrates his point by writing what a company states and what it really is saying. Read this from the heart rate monitor company:

“imagine 12 years from today, when your 1st graders receive their high school diploma and along with it, are handed their entire wellness portfolio correlated to their academic, attendance and fitness success. A legacy created for students and their families while meeting the daily needs of school administration and compliance.”

Sounds pretty good outside the line about compliance right? Check out what it really means:

“imagine 12 years from today, when your 1st graders from low SES backgrounds receive their high school diploma and along with it, are handed their entire wellness portfolio correlated to their comparatively poor academic, attendance and low fitness scores. A legacy created for students and their families that is completely ignorant of the fact that individual choice had little to do with any of this is created. A legacy in which a global insurance company (that in a multi-million dollar take over deal now own the data that is in the ‘cloud’) and sportswear corporates will continue to sell you products in an attempt to finally make you ‘healthy’, by repeatedly pointing out your failure to comply.”
Most of us don’t understand where race, power, and socioeconomic status all intersect.
This is why we need to listen to our thought leaders. Dr. O’Connor is just one of them that are constantly highlighting the issue of what we are doing with not only pedagogy but our student’s data in education. I would highly recommend following @audreywatters and @funnymonkey if you want to learn more about this. Another thought leader in the same vein is #PhysEd’s own Sherri Spelic!
It is imperative that we question everyone and everything that goes into education. We do ourselves and our students a huge disservice by just following blindly people with a lot of twitter followers, administrators, or keynote speakers. No one is above being questioned even the creator of #slowchatpe!! Next time you see a tweet or a facebook post question it before you like or repost. What does that statement really mean? Will it harm anyone? What may I be missing? Question everything.
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One thought on “Question Everything.

  1. Pingback: The PE Playbook – January 2018 Edition – drowningintheshallow

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