Once again, Larry Cuban in "'Dynamic Conservativism" and Stability," nails it. Cuban asks why teaching in all types of schools continues to look so familiar to "generation after generation of journalists, researchers, parents and grandparents." Why "has there been so much continuity in teaching over the decades?"
Cuban's answer is the organizational concept of “dynamic conservatism." In schools, as in other institutions, we "respond to major reforms by adopting those parts of changes that will sustain stability." In education, we teachers have always “'hugged the middle' between traditional and non-traditional ways of teaching." "Reformers," however, are "dead-set on redesigning classrooms" and they "scorn hybrid teaching practices. They want transformation, not some cosmetic changes."
When I entered the classroom, I shocked my liberal friends by saying, "if teaching doesn't make you a conservative, it either says something about your sanity or the enduring power of liberalism." Teaching, fundamentally, is a political process. Our ability to teach is dependent on the consent of the taught. Our classrooms are full of all types of individuals with a full range of preferences. Our job is to referee this gumbo of personalities and pedagogies. By hugging the middle, we lesson the chances that kids on one side or another will be excluded. Before long, we learn the lesson that football coaches have always emphaisized, don't put the ball on the ground. Instructional excellence is important. Our most important job, however, is minimizing errors. And when more disruptive transformation is introduced into schools, protecting our kids from unintended consequences of mistakes becomes even more important.-JT(@drjohnthompson)Image via.