If we are to provide an equitable education to every child, we need to disrupt current systems of education in order to restructure for collective success. Especially as we come out of the Pandemic, we must call for a group approach to improving education and that means a real change from current understandings of how education systems produce results.
Loss of Learning
The current results from education systems are measured by standardized tests and those tests show no improvement over time, and because of the Pandemic, a real loss over the last two years. This documented loss does not provide a road map for improvement, it simply tells us that we are in the hole in terms of education success. Although these tests have some utility as measures, we need to focus on different measures that more accurately measure student growth.
Student growth in learning is the key measure of success going forward because it shows us the progress each student has made, rather than measuring achievement against the assumed progress an entire grade should be making, which is what is measured by a standardized test. We need this type of measure of student growth in order to dig ourselves out of the learning loss we have experienced.
Most important is to understand the role creativity plays in disrupting boring learning. Although curriculum has been organized in systemic ways that are easy to understand, student progress through those steps has not yielded success for every student. We need to disrupt this lock step standardization of learning because increased student learning is not accomplished by district expectations that every teacher and every student will accomplish the coverage of the curriculum at the same time and pace.
Creativity is Disruptive Learning
This is why the best teachers survive our standardized system of curriculum delivery—because they creatively reorganize how the students experience their curriculum—and essentially disrupt the boredom, disrupt the standardization of education, disrupt the unequal way that we deliver learning to our children.
And this is why we need to apply creativity to disrupt our failing systems of education—because we need to create anew a system that works for every child, every teacher, every principal, and every school board. Applying creativity as a school reform strategy could help us to make urgent changes to our education systems in order to create access and equity for every student in every school.