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.

Screen Shot 2014 07 27 at 7 55 03 PM

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

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