We The Educators campaign aims to start conversations around standardization, personalization, privatization and the datafication of learning.
The relationship should be between people rather than machines.
Personalization is the relationship between people that demands a deep understanding of changing needs, unique talents, passions and interests.
Personalized learning thus demands high-quality teaching that is responsive to the many different ways children can become their best selves.
This means shaping teaching around the way different students learn, taking care to nurture the unique talents
of every child. Teachers draw on a repertoire of strategies and techniques to tailor an education to meet the needs of every student, to create a great school that works for all. The teacher and the learner work together to keep
the “person” in personalization.
Standardization and standards are not the same thing.
“Standardization” and “standards” are not the same thing. Simply put, standards are good; standardization isn’t.
Standards set a bar of expectations, and they are critical for a healthy society, for example, to ensure food safety or to regulate the quality of doctors and teachers.
We want high standards for our children. But standardization is not the same as high standards. Having high standards doesn’t mean that we all reach them in the same way.
When a process is standardized, it can be repeated at a lower cost. Industrial manufacturing was built on these principles to reduce cost and standardize output. But standardization in education narrows learner choice, curriculum, opportunity and value.
Standardization empowers a process. Standards empower and protect the learner.
Privatization relies upon standardization.
Privatization transfers an industry or service from public to private interest.
Proponents of privatization believe competition in the private sector fosters more efficient practices, leading to better service and products, lower costs and less corruption.
However, critics of privatization argue that services such as health care, law enforcement or education should be in the public sector to ensure greater control and equitable access by society. It’s hard to imagine an excellent education system or public sector without equity, and yet decisions about the public sector, including ownership, are too often made by those who do not use it.
To be profitable, privatization depends on standardization to scale, reducing cost-prohibitive services and the ability to meet unique needs.
Children and teachers are not data.
Datafication is a technological trend turning many aspects of our lives into computerized data using processes to transform organizations into data-driven enterprises by converting this information into new forms of value.
Social media, for example, datafies our friendships to market products and services to us and surveillance services to agencies, which in turn changes our behaviour.
Standardization narrows the school curriculum and learner choice to match specific testing regimes. Datafication then narrows teachers autonomy to ensure the creation of “good data” based on these regimes.
But children and teachers aren’t data, so this won’t be in their best interests.
Online and social media
|We The Educator includes resources that are available online and a social media campaign that is active on the following social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and Medium.