As a frequent TED talk viewer, I wasn't disappointed a bit by Gladwell's talk! Not only was it entertaining, but I felt that it related extremely well with not only educational research, but education in general. In regards to research, the idea of finding the right Pepsis is exactly how educational researchers should be thinking in terms of solving the problems of the American education system. There is not going to be one right answer that will work for every student and teacher in every school in every state in the country. Instead, researchers should be focusing on collecting groupings of strategies that have proven effective and allow teachers to pick and choose what is right for them as teachers as well as what is right for their students. Having taught in different parts of the country, I know that even simple geography can make a difference in terms of what works in a classroom and what doesn't.
In terms of education in general, teachers should have a separate vision for each student. Just like Pepsi, there is not one perfect student; they are all individuals and should be taught as such. Not all students are college bound, not all want to be a doctor, some want to work outdoors or at home. As teachers, we need to teach our students to be the best they can be, not to be what we think they should be. Should we encourage students to explore all their options? Of course! But should we pressure students into something that isn't a fit for them? I don't think so, and if we can take anything from this talk, it should be that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to education research and reform, nor is there a one-size-fits-all solution for our students.
I'm Edie - wife, mom, teacher, instructional designer, home renovator,
and lover of nature, travel, technology, and vintage campers!