Gary Stager

Thanks to Tim at Assorted Stuff for introducing me to Gary Stager.  He’s been saying everything I always wanted to about the techno-evangelists:

I’ve long been concerned by the educational technology pundits, Web 2.0pians as I like to call them, who herald every new web app as not only an earth-shaking revelation, but the end of school as we know it.

I do believe that those Mr. Stager criticizes are about more than just the tools; however, I have questioned that in an earlier post.   I think they reason they believe in the “end of school” (you just have to think about Neil Postman, don’t you?) is that they have a much wider reform agenda that espouses constructivist principles over all other types of pedagogy.  A very wise class member pointed out that this view is simply not aligned with the content-focused curriculum teachers work with in the standards based environment.

When I do presentations, I link the 21st century skills and Tom Friedman (neither of which Stager is a fan of) all the way back to my favorite leadership writer: Warren Bennis.  Rather than focus on particular technologies or pedagogies, we should focus on the essential story of school.  I would like to suggest that that story deals with helping kids become leaders.  Bennis believes a leader needs passion, curiosity and integrity.

Stager’s right: this isn’t new stuff.  Even the negative attitudes towards teachers aren’t new, in fact.  According to Cuban, it’s always the teachers who get blamed when innovations fail to take off.


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