A Letter from a gathering of Educators

6 Nov

Letter from a gathering of educators

Meeta Sengupta
31 October 2013, 11:13 AM IST

An old fashioned letter to all of you educators

Greetings from Doha. I hope this finds you in the best of health, the highest teacher attendance levels and the best student achievement levels ever.

No?

I can’t ask you not to worry. But they say there is comfort in finding others with the same problems. At Doha, surrounded by thousands of educationists, I am assured that we have a lot of company. The issues in education are similar all over the world. The good news is that the solutions too have things in common, which means we can share them.

The big questions across the world are the same- how do you get children to school, how do you keep them there, how do you build and sustain high achievement levels and how do you make them fit for life and employment. In some measure or another, we all struggle with these. And with measuring them.

We are all broadly aligned on the solutions too – put the child at the centre of learning, teachers are the key to higher achievements, school leadership is key to success, involve the parent community, use Edutech as blended learning and of course monitor and measure everything.

We also disagree about a number of things. Assessments, for one. Pasi Sahlberg calls it a virus. And yet all the success pathways seem to involve exams and certifications. We preach what only a few have dared to practice. Yes, global data does link poverty and education, and we see the poverty gap impacts education and growth. It is a vicious circle, so I don’t question the causal links, but it does set off a flurry of other questions. We disagree about systems monitoring, we disagree on what motivates teachers though all of us seem to want teachers to be self motivated and supported.

The broad themes and problems across the globe seek solutions. The good news is that many, myriad solutions are being tried. Many have been great successes. Now, the next challenge for them is to be scaleable. It is a pleasure to meet people who have trained 2 million teachers in a program. It is also remarkable to note that such a large scale of learning has been achieved in one year in other programs. Those designed for scale, with a will, with good partnerships are able to have great impact – which is heartening to note.

Is there a purpose to such large jamborees for Education, one reflects, as one must. As day 3 begins, I must admit – yes. Ideas and solutions have been gathered from all over the world to bring depth to scale and influence. Those who have access to funding are listening to those who have ideas. This is how we find synergies – by creating opportunities for serendipity.

I will add to this letter soon.. From the educationist’s paradise, I sign off  – ready to share and learn for another day.

 

 

Link: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/educable/entry/letter-from-a-gathering-of-educators

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