November 4, 2009

Jump off the bandwagon?

We've all heard it..."it's the new bandwagon". Odd statement. What does it even mean? Well, at least in education, here's what I think.

We educators use this term a lot. Maybe because there are a lot of new "bandwagons" to jump on. But what are we really saying? Yes, the term is used to describes something new. But it is more than that. We use it to describe new things that we are not yet sure of, or not yet familiar with. And I'll go even one step further. We often use it to describe things we do not agree with, or do not have the time, energy, and patience to look into. We use it as a cop out. It's our way of saying "I am not willing to look into this or consider it". We simply write it off as the "new bandwagon".

Why do we do this? It's not because we're lazy. It's not because we don't get excited by new ideas. But here is why:

1. Traditionally, a "new bandwagon" means more meaningless paperwork handed down by administration.

2. Many teachers have been in education a long time and (sadly) do not see a need for change. We think the system is just fine the way it is.

Yes, there are a lot of "new bandwagons" out there. And no, we do not have to jump on every one. But, we should at least take time to inspect the bandwagon. To see if it could help us or hurt us somehow. If we don't, we're doing our students an injustice. So please, next time you catch yourself saying "it's just the new bandwagon" realize that this is a cop out and that the education system needs more from you.

1 comment:

  1. Ewan McIntosh ( of Scottish educational fame was interviewed by the folks of the EdTech Posse. He talked about wanting the job of jumping on bandwagons. He wanted it to be his job to jump on every single bandwagon that came along and then pass on to the others whether it was worth joining. Sounds like fun.