Kumashiro (2009) talks a lot about removing standards (because of their bias) from education. While I agree that standards can be bias, I also agree that students need to learn certain things when they graduate from high school (otherwise why do we even have an education system?). These standards could be more generalized than they are (i.e. in Physics we have over 120 different outcomes to cover in one year), but I do agree with them. However, no matter how general they are, standards will still be based on what someone perceives to be the minimum information students should have learned – and this may not line up with all.
The second point of Kumashiro’s (2009) that resonated with me was:
“Leading is a disorienting process that raises questions about what was already learned and what has yet to be learned” (p. 32).
Being challenged is anything but comfortable. If you have ever been challenged to grow, you know how uncomfortable this process is! You start out in this blissful state of ignorance and then are thrust into a state of intense irritation, aggravation, and/or frustration. After the dust settles and things have had a little bit of time to percolate, you can not imagine going back to the way things were before you had been challenged.
Learning should be like this everyday – challenge the students, engage in a process that allows them to process the information for themselves, and then share their understandings. Their understandings will be different than yours since they bring different experiences to the table, but that’s ok – everyone learns something that way. Who knows, maybe even your students will challenge you? 🙂