A Few Problems with Standardization

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For some students struggling to master a particular concept, the presentation of material in a new way can make all the difference. Because every student’s brain is uniquely wired, students have different intelligences and do not learn in the same way. In light of this information, chapter one of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns discusses why schools and teachers do not completely customize learning (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011). The current architecture of schools is founded on standardization, a shift from the one-room schoolhouse, and “inspired by the efficient factory system that had emerged in industrial America” (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011, p. 35). The students arranged into grades could learn the same material in the same way, and at the same pace, allowing teachers to focus solely on one group of students and set content. This model, however, cannot currently “handle the differences in the way individual brains are wired for learning” (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011, p. 35). While standardization was previously seen as a virtuous method, Christensen, Johnson and Horn unabashedly state that schools are in desperate need of a new system, “because students have different types of intelligence, learning styles, varying paces, and starting points, all students have special needs”…and are “differently abled” Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011, p.34).

The authors go on to suggest that computer-based learning is a valuable stepping stone toward student-centric learning which will allow students to learn according to their intelligence type, and at their own pace through customized content and sequence (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011, p. 38). Through implementing new technologies through incremental changes, this chapter suggests there is hope that schools will move further and further away from standardization and more toward student-centric learning.

I had never used eReader before, but definitely prefer to read anything of length from a book rather than a computer. I was frustrated initially after having read about 30 pages because I could not figure out how many pages I had left to read in the chapter. After some exploration, I did discover that if I clicked on the following chapter I could see what page it started on and then gage how many pages I had left to read—just a silly little thing, but helpful to know! Highlighting and making notes was extremely simple. When going back to write my reflection, upon completing the reading, it was very useful to see the list of highlights I had made and then to select a highlighted passage and be transported directly to the corresponding page.

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.