The “game of school” hasn’t changed much since it was designed. Instead of focusing on individuals, we focus on accountability measures; we expect students to fit into rigidly defined roles and a highly regulated system. Like pawns on a playing board, kids are told to follow the rules of the game and comply with adult-driven systems, teacher requests, and standardized tests. Only students that successfully strategize and comply with the rules are likely to find gratification and reward for their efforts. But even if they can succeed, “winning” does not translate to life and career readiness. This article is part of the guide What Personalized Learning Looks Like Across the Country: The 2017 Fifty States Project.
By Johnna Noll, August 2017