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Is the Pendulum Swinging Back?

by Mawi on October 4, 2012

Accountability has defined the last decade of K-12 education in the U.S., with No Child Left Behind and the ascendance of standardized testing.

Is the pendulum finally swinging back in the direction of holistic student education? Every week, it seems, a new bestselling book or a major article discuss the role of non-cognitive success factors such as character or leadership.

For example, consider:

  • Race to Nowhere: A movie that has swept the nation by exposing the harms of unbridled test-based competition.
  • How Children Succeed: A new bestselling book that analyzes non-cognitive success factors, particularly in early childhood.
  • The Power of Habit: Another bestselling book that demonstrates the vast power of habits.
These are just a few examples. Many of my district partners are now including character and leadership training as both a means and end to student achievement.  My personal opinion is that accountability isn’t going anywhere – but the pendulum will swing to a more balanced place.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Sipp October 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

You are so right. If character and leadership are ignored, the foundation for learning is weakened and the learning application becomes nonexistent, which removes motivation for learning, rendering our students the most disadvantaged of all! Thank you for all that you are doing. We are excited to see you in New Mexico next semester!

2 Mawi October 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

Thanks, Lisa! Very well said! I am very excited to meet you and your students soon!
Mawi
(PS: I’m looking forward to that basketball game, too.)

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