Friday, March 11, 2011

A Metaphor for Education

In order to understand the debate occurring in education it might help to simplify things for those less familiar with the interplay between various groups. To accomplish this the Underground will use the comedic genius of Sid and Marty Kroft to clarify the complex dynamics. They were carefully chosen after a rigorous and exhaustive search of kids shows we watched growing up. Selected because they clearly had meaning beyond what was apparent(like many reforms). If you follow this logic then you might fit in well in the higher echelons of policy decisions that affect education.

This post might at first appear to be senseless and merely an effort to make fun of a very serious issue. But we are serious, a boy was shipwrecked after all. That charge could be leveled at our last 30 posts actually and this one includes embedded video, which by default makes it appear to have substance, like the evening news. This addition helps it appeal to the masses(AKA the 5 people who read our blog, two of which are our wives). Enjoy.

HR PufNStuf

Jimmy(the poor shipwrecked boy)-Might represent all the students and teachers trying desperately to navigate the trends and changes affecting the system in which we learn and operate. I think there's like 2.1 million teachers in the US and we are not all bad...but Jimmy appears along for the ride. Not even wearing a vest. Sad really.

Freddy(the talking flute)-Connects to the prize of the ideal education, with you for life and invaluable, like a good friend. He might also connect to how we are judged against other nations, a constant temptation. bbut they are not us and we are not them.

H.R. Pufnstuf(the "helpful" dragon)-At first might appear to be those pushing for reform but it could be any level headed parent, teacher, administrator or official who recognizes the need for logical and well thought out improvement.

The Boat-The enchanting lure of immediate and quick reforms. But beware once you are in it is hard to get out and when you head into stormy seas the refrain of "can't do a little cause you can't do enough" will never be more true.

The Rescue Rangers-OK we're not sure what they represent but we like them better than Michelle Rhee.

Witchiepoo(the evil witch who started all this)- Maybe its 1983's Nation at Risk or No Child Left Behind or a complacent educational system, but something got all this hulabaloo started. If everyone agrees we can do better then why are so many of us with direct ties to teaching so concerned about where we are now headed? Witchie plays an integral role and the best connection today would be Scott Walker.

Orson Vulture, Seymour Spider, and Stupid Bat- These are the edupreneur, venture philanthropist, high level administrative minion, non teaching reformers who come up with great ideas than in practice never seem to work out and when they don't, we get blamed.

1 comment:

  1. I had to watch H.R. Pufnstuff today...have to say, as a teacher, I sometimes feel JUST like the rescue rangers...