Shelley Wright/PLPNetwork
Shelley Wright/PLPNetwork

The many incredible innovations of the 20th century have sped up the pace of life in addition to giving many people more access to information and communication tools.  The anytime/anywhere learning made possible by mobile technology and the internet hold great potential for new ways of teaching, but some educators worry that the emphasis on efficiency and instant access is having a negative impact on some of the core tenets of education. In her Powerful Learning Practice Network article educator Shelley Wright advocates for a “slow education” movement that takes time to value human connection, curiosity and a love of learning.

“So what does the Slow Movement mean for education? It asks us to reimagine what it means to be a community of learners. It requires us to embrace the organic messiness of learning. It requires admitting that a large part of what is happening isn’t good for our children, our teachers, or our communities. Rather than a top down industrialized and homogenized assembly line, we need a grass roots Slow Education movement that takes into account what real learning looks like and why children really need to learn more slowly, freely and thoroughly.”

Are You Ready to Join the Slow Education Movement?

Slow. I love this word, and yet it tends to have many negative connotations in education. Which is too bad because it’s the very philosophy we need to save our education system, and give kids the time and space necessary to grow into the thoughtful, articulate citizens we desperately need them to become.

What Would a ‘Slow Education Movement’ Look Like? 23 February,2016MindShift

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  • Akira Bear

    The problem is, as I see it, that oligarch profiteers have commandeered the public school system in order to further schools-for-profit. Please notice that none of the Common Core initiatives are what they are demanding for their own children’s private schools. Common Core is designed to make students fail and to frustrate them and their families. Tying teacher evaluations in to test scores is designed to marginalize veteran teachers. Unless we stand up and fight now, we will never get a slow education movement, which would be wonderful. Diane Ravitch predicts that in 15 more years of this, there will be no public schools left.

    • Guest

      Sounds to me like you don’t really know what “Standards” are.

      • Akira Bear

        I know very well what standards are, as we have always had standards. The problem is that now the standards are so developmentally inappropriate. And I cannot believe, when I look at the totality of CCSS and what it represents in our schools, that this inappropriateness is an accident.

        You don’t like what I have said here so you think insulting me will get me to shut down. Your response is smarmy.

        • Steven D Rowell

          My daughter and I are completely frustrated with her math and language arts in the 4th grade. Common Core appears to be teaching failure and how to accept it. I’m at a lost with it.

          • Akira Bear

            I am so sorry that kids have to suffer with this horrible educational initiative. And I hear that Obama, via Arne Duncan, is about to ramp it up to make it all even more difficult. I have recently found a third party, the American Families Party. Their political platform involves fully funded and functional public schools. I am joining.
            I would recommend that you take your child out of public school, Steve. I think that is the only answer at this point. They are winning and public schools are losing. In a few years, I doubt if there will be any public schools left.

          • Steven D Rowell

            Taking her out is not an affordable option. The corporate interest are so entrenched in our education system, they are dictating the educational policy to their benefit and not the children. Future Walmart employees instead of doctors and professionals.

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  • Corey Topf
  • Concerned

    ohhhh, so how we used to teach…now you see why all these changes become frustrating for veteran teachers. I do agree though, but more importantly…let teachers have autonomy over their classrooms once again.

    • concerned #2

      I agree wholeheartedly with your response. I have taught in many states and overseas. My last full-time job was in Brussels, Belgium. The PYP approach, primary years program, had us meet as grade level teams and integrate subjects based on a six week theme. It made so much sense. That was in the year 2000. Now, the system has so many “themes” and different areas to cover. Add on mandatory testing and we are just scratching the surface of these topics.

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