Worked for me

My uncle sent me a link to this commentary in his local paper.  The author developed an approach to educational reform called Educating for Human Greatness, which he describes in the piece.

What got my attention about this article was the mention of something I think is an often-overlooked pitfall of many reform efforts.  The people who make the calls about what will make a difference in education tend to be the ones for whom the existing system was mostly effective.  By traditional measures, it worked for them.  (I say traditional measures because I’d maintain that even for many of those, a system with a wider range of options may have made better use of their capacities – may have set them on even more satisfying, productive paths than the ones they embarked upon.)

I suspect that this reality may be in part to blame for the failure of so many reform efforts.  These efforts and the people behind them are not ill-intentioned.  It’s just that when something doesn’t feel all that broken to you, the most you’re likely to be able to envision, in the way of reform, is a continuation of that same basic stuff that made you successful.  You’ll just look for ways to alter it that might increase the chances of success like yours, but for those others.  You wouldn’t have any reason to think that the thing might be fundamentally broken – might need the kind of overhaul that allows for new successes.