Biggest in Education is Not Always Best


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

I was in an electrical store the other day waiting to be served. Standing there I looked out across the room that was full of televisions all playing the same video in order to provide some sort of contrast. As always, the high-end models stood out with their large screens and crisp view. This is somewhat obvious, of course a store is going to work out how to promote its most expensive product the best. However, I was left wondering, as a consumer is this necessarily the most useful way to measure what is the most useful product or is there more to it than that? For example, in a different setting where space is a question, the biggest screen is not always best. Also, there are times when making big purchases we feel that we need to stick with this even though our circumstances may change.

Reflecting on this, I started thinking about education and the way in which we measure success and decide on our solutions. It is so easy to get sucked into the big picture offered by NAPLAN tests and PISA results, but it feels like something is lost with this. So often such focuses portray the wider view at the sacrifice of context and diversity.

Too often we want everything to scale. The problem is that not everything works that way, that simply isn’t how change works. Instead, we need to look at solutions and strategies with the lens of our own context and environment. This is why the Modern Learning Canvas is so useful, for it provides a way of talking. Addressing such questions as the sequence of learning, the various enablers, the role of students, the expected outcomes and the overall pedagogical beliefs. With this image created we are hopefully better able to identify the smaller steps of development.

Maybe sometimes this might mean buying the biggest and the best television on display, but more often than not it means considering what works best in the various constraints within our contexts and starting there.


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Biggest in Education is Not Always Best by Aaron Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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