The usual terms thrown out such as “higher standards…teacher evaluation, merit pay, and testing requirements” are acknowledged by Markham as useful, yet he does not find them to “inspire” students either (2015). Instead of following along with the traditional calls to reform, he has argued that teachers need to make some particular adjustments. Markham promotes an idea in which teachers reinvent the story of teaching, where they embrace their opportunity to shape the future; connect and collaborate with other educators, particularly through social media networks to help global communities; and stop viewing college degrees and test results as the indicator of intelligence, but start to emphasize “grit, resilience, empathy, curiosity, openness, creativity, and evaluative thinking” as well (Markham, 2015). Essentially, it is the educators’ responsibility to mold motivation and creativity through their personal enthusiasm, to share their experiences and discoveries of what works, and move toward local and global improvement in education and society in general.
Personally, I believe Markham is correct in his evaluation of education being counterproductive towards inspiring students. There are indeed some real issues with promoting high stakes testing, and in the idea that you simply need to work towards a degree, rather than discovering and developing a love in learning. Students almost learn to maneuver their way through education, rather than become inspired life-long learners. Having said that, despite him providing some good remedies, such as becoming collaborative and connected teachers, I feel Markham is a little too vague in his ideas for change. Additionally, I believe some of his ideas are a little idealized. For instance, sure teacher enthusiasm in their work can be beneficial, but I’m not sure if that is going to change the system; there almost needs to be some new freedom, or policy that allows teachers to experiment with little threat of job security, at least for a set time period. This way we will really see teachers try to improve education, without major barriers.
Markham, T. (2015, February 11). Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education ‘Story’. MindShift. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/02/11/redefining-teachers-with-a-21st-century-education-story/