As we head back into our 21st Century classrooms, where Pinterest-worthy decor and research based programs are expected to co-mingle, there are voices on the horizon reminding us to think about the pedagogy of teaching and to consider not just what we do, but also how and why we spend precious classroom moments doing what we do.
It's easy to get caught up in the "physical space" and how it looks to others in an era where teachers are "assessed" on their "use of space." It's easy to focus on maintaining the "fidelity" of "research-based" programs in an era of responsibility and accountability. Yet, at a recent meeting, I heard an administrator talk about respecting "pedagogy." Then, in my PLN, there was a recent graphic on the pedagogy of teaching.
Perhaps, with just the right "push" from those of us in the trenches, the pendulum may swing ever so gently back towards a balance between practice and pedagogy because our students are not simply "buckets" to be filled with knowledge. They are individuals with diverse strengths and unique learning needs. To meet the needs of all students, teachers must choose from the array of potential strategies and methods and differentiate their instruction, materials, practice and assessment. Pinterest-worthy classrooms and research based programs are not enough to assure learning for all. Teachers firmly grounded in the why and how learning occurs are the essential element in 21st Century classrooms everywhere.