A LYS Leader submits: I find that it is becoming more obvious that we need to question our educational mythology. Years ago, in my second leadership role, I encountered a math teacher who sincerely believed that using a calculator in math class was cheating. The man was very passionate and held on to idea, despite the fact that the use of calculators on standardized tests are required by the State of Texas. I have inherited English teachers convinced that the ONLY way to teach literature is to read the “classics” that they have taught for the past 20 years (the same one that were taught to them, of course). I’ve recently had seemingly intelligent educators argue that there is no need to have students talk to each other in the course of a class. LYS Nation, take a reality check. Dr. Jim Davis has some interesting ideas concerning the definition of cheating, and I am beginning to think he is right, on more than one level. It is our THINKING that has to change, and I am sure that is what Dr. Davis is getting at, although he is the King of Subtle Logic. If you ever get your students to the point where a complete lack of student engagement increases performance in a class, please call me. I, and a group of researchers, will be on our way to your school to witness this miracle and will attempt to sort the bloody matter out. SC ResponseGreat post. I have been toying with this general train of thought for a while. Just letting it sit in the back of my mind and percolate. Here are two big things that I think are holding us back as we attempt to improve student performance, lack of confidence and fear. Lack of confidence manifest itself in the inability to try new things. If I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water with the tools I am familiar with, then I don’t feel confident enough to try to learn how to use a new tool. Because I believe that I’ll drown during the learning curve. Fear manifests itself in the ability to let go or relinquish control. It’s not that I don’t believe that things can get better; I just can’t pry my hand from what I am currently holding on to. Which is why leadership is so critical. Not only does leadership set the tone for the organization, the right leadership allows individuals to overcome their personal frailties. Just something to chew on for a while. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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