Perception Versus Reality

This is a common theme in literature. As recently as a few weeks ago, I had a group of students reading William Golding’s child-centered distopian classic, Lord of the Flies, where we discussed candidly throughout the book how the boys’ perception on the island very rarely coincided with it’s reality.

How true is this in education? We all preceive the world around us differently. I think that is one of the many beautiful parts of being human, but there are times when reality stares us in the face and we just chose to pretend it isn’t looking at us. Maybe it has to do with avoiding conflict. Whatever the case, I’m as guilty as anyone in this arena.

Specifically, what I continue to encounter are students, teachers, parents, everyone really, that have a perception that the status quo works for us in education. The reality? It doesn’t. It is said that variety is the spice of life, and we’re not providing variety to our students often enough. We desperately want to believe that multiple choice tests will prove a student’s knowledge base, but I think we all know that the truth is that it never will. Yet, we’ll gladly follow the trend because it is familiar and appears efficient. We’ve just put to much value in a system that can no longer provide the best learning experience of country that has changed dramatically since the industrial revolution and WWI.

How we perceive education matters. The reality of education  matters more. What we do to improve education with that knowledge matters most.

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