Category Archives: houston isd global graduate

Thinking Deeply About Why We Do What We Do

Yesterday I wrote a post on the “absolutes” in education, and I asked what should every student be able to by the time they leave school. Since it was posted on April 1, some people thought it was maybe a practical joke.  This image shared yesterday seemed extremely relevant.

April Fools

Well the post was serious so obviously I need to work on my writing skills!

Yet the questioning of it was actually in line for what I hoped for.  We often ask questions in hopes for answers, but I am trying to ask more questions to simply get people to think, and hopefully, come up with more questions.

Some of the ideas and questions (there were a lot) that came up in response to the tweet were the following (paraphrased):

  • Can there truly be any “absolutes”?
  • Shouldn’t this be dependent upon the community?
  • Kids need to be able to think
  • Learn, unlearn, and relearn
  • Be happy

Again, the question was a prompt for conversation, not about absolute answers.  I truly think that these are conversations that we should be having with our community, to really think about not only what we are doing, but how and most importantly, why.  I believe in teacher autonomy, but I also believe in a shared purpose.  Do we truly go beyond a “vision” or do we bring that vision to life?

One way that I have seen this done recently is through districts creating a “global graduate profile”. Here is an example of one from Houston ISD (Houston, Texas).

For more information, click the image or go to: http://www.houstonisd.org/globalgraduate

For more information, click the image or go to: http://www.houstonisd.org/globalgraduate

From what I know, this was a shared process to figure this “profile” out, which makes it all the more powerful. This post is not to question the elements you see in the profile from Houston, because each community is different, but to think about the process.  Do we go beyond grades and kids getting jobs or going to post-secondary, or do we go beyond this?  I think these questions and images could help a lot of schools in bringing their community together in thinking about what our students really need and compare it to what we do.

I would love your thoughts on this.

(Check out the image below from Houston ISD. I think this could be a great discussion piece.)

Screenshot 2016-04-02 11.27.10