Sep 30, 2011
Comments Off on Looking for Efficiency

Looking for Efficiency

Enter, sit down, do the work assigned, here’s your number, NEXT.

A successful industry is all about finding the perfect balance of efficiency. Removing everything you don’t need to make the product. Politics is like that too. Education is in search of more and more efficient ways to process learning.  The system is trying to make describing that learning efficient.

Learning isn’t efficient. Reporting about learning isn’t efficient.

Learning, at it’s best, is gracefully inefficient.

In fact, I believe we should relish in the inefficiency of learning. Recognize that efficient learning is not lifelong learning. Inefficiency is what gives us opportunity to build a relationship with a student to better understand his/her learning. Inefficiency encourages making mistakes. Inefficiency encourages risk taking, creativity, innovation. Inefficiency allows us to wonder, meander, sink into the pocket of what we are learning. Inefficiency breeds feedback that is rich and authentic.

It is inefficient to have every parent contact me and talk about their child. It is inefficient to sit down and talk with each student. But I guarantee in return, each student will have a better learning experience, they will get more out of the feedback. I guarantee that every parent will have a better understanding of where their child is and where and how they are going to get where they are headed. I guarantee it is better than a number twice a semester. Even if I break that number down into “consistent” percentages.

At the end of the day, maybe it is time to embrace inefficiency. We should stop running our schools like fast food joints trying to get people in and out as quickly as possible with as little interaction with them as possible. Maybe school doesn’t have to be an ATM, maybe we should encourage parents and students to walk in and talk to a teller. Talk to a teacher.


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