Saturday, April 07, 2012

5 Things Teachers Could Learn from the Marines

Andy Rotherham with a great article on "5 Things Teachers Could Learn from the Marines":

Fallujah probably isn't the first place you'd go for ideas about how to improve our schools. It was the scene of some of the toughest fighting during the Iraqi War. But the city's successful recapture by the United States highlighted why the Marines Corps is such a respected fighting force. In that battle, as in others, 19- and 20-year-old Marines were trusted to make extraordinary split-second decisions in an environment more dangerous and confusing than most of us can imagine. Yet back home in American schools, we still haven't figured out how to give our teaching force – whose members are college graduates, more than half of whom have advanced degrees – autonomy and accountability in a far less dynamic workplace. In school districts and state capitals, we veer between giving teachers insufficient training and oversight and giving them almost no autonomy at all.

The Marine Corps isn't perfect. A few of its members have been accused of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, it's undeniable that the Marines are highly effective at their core mission of maintaining a nimble and lethal fighting force. In conversations with active-duty Marines and with former Marines who now work full-time in public schools, some lessons for improving our teaching force became clear. Here are five things the leathernecks can teach us:

PS—I recall that a number of people replied to my email a couple of months ago about doing research on the similarities between the military and our educational system and what we can learn, but accidentally deleted them, so please resend.  It's an area I'm very interested in, though I'm not sure how much time I can find to devote to it…



School of Thought

5 Things Teachers Could Learn from the Marines

Why Fallujah might have more to teach us than Finland about improving our schools

By Andrew J. Rotherham | @arotherham | March 15, 2012 | 18


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