Creating Students

At an information session I attended recently, one of the instructional leaders here in our overly-large school district said: “Portrait of a Graduate1 is the framework for the kind of student we want to create.”

“student we want to create”?

It wasn’t a phrase that was emphasized, probably not even necessarily planned. Just one that hit me the wrong way and stuck in my head. Because it represents a very traditional vision of school, as a place where teachers mold kids into graduates over a period of twelve or so years.

And, while we tell ourselves around here that our schools are changing to emphasize student innovation, creativity, higher-level thinking, and the array of whatever is currently considered “21st century” skills, our thinking and instructional practice very much reflects that concept of “creating” students.

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Image: screen capture from an RSAnimate presentation of a talk by Sir Ken Robinson.


  1. The “long-term strategic plan” currently being written, and about which I’ve ranted before.

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