Agency Anyone?

December 10, 2012 | 2 Comments

At lunch today, I decided, as I sometimes do, to do some blog reading.  So I went to Seth Godin’s blog, and saw this post Industrialism and the Death of Agency.  And, as his writing usually does, it got me thinking.

First, Godin defines agency:

“Agency is the ability to make a decision, and to be responsible for the decision you make.”

In education today, do we allow kids to have agency? Teachers?  Principals? If not, shouldn’t we?

The post ends with:

“As the industrial company sputters and fades, there’s a fork in the road. In one direction lies the opportunity to regain agency, to take responsibility for ever more of our actions and their effects. In the other direction is the race to the bottom, and the dehumanizing process of more compliance, a cog in an uncaring system.”

A cog in an uncaring system. Hmmm.  As we seek compliance to securely hold on to the current model of schooling, are we denying kids and their teachers and administrators agency?   If so, what stands in our way?

 



2 Comments so far

  1.    Christian on January 6, 2013 7:21 pm      

    “the current model of schooling” As long as the standards are, well, standard, I don’t see how to escape this. Even in the Middle Ages I suppose there was little agency in becoming a blacksmith, or a scribe or an artist.

  2.    Ed Allen on January 7, 2013 8:09 am      

    Christian, thanks for your comment. I can’t say for sure about the blacksmith or the artist, but, is the world our kids will enter going to be the same as the world of the blacksmith? I concede the wall of standardization seems solid and unshakeable, but should we accept that?

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