THE ICEBERG(S) IMPACTING EDUCATION (Part One)

EXTENDING THE ICEBERG THEORY (1)

Over time and through the years I have often thoughts and written about education as being like an iceberg. An iceberg shows one tenth of its dimensions above the water, with nine tenths remaining submerged. What one sees is not the whole iceberg but rather a small fraction of its icy mass.

Similarly, the role of teachers is one where a small fraction of what happens in classrooms is seen. What remains unseen is the research, planning and preparation that directs teaching. Assessment, recording, follow up paperwork which includes teaching tasks centred around revision, extension, report writing and ongoing preparation of work units remains unseen. Meetings, inservice requirements, moderation tasks and performance management planning is also invisible to the general school community.

Countless hours of time are devoted to the elements of the teaching role that surround teaching. Before and after school time, weekends, large slabs of stand-down time and holiday periods are devoted to the myriad of tasks and demands surrounding teaching.

It’s the ‘structural’ iceberg element which detracts from the functions that should embrace teaching and learning in our classrooms. But now, somewhat by stealth, there is another iceberg.

And that iceberg is pointing toward unmitigated educational disaster.

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