Why keep doing something, just because we have always done it?
Today on my morning drive, I was listening to CBC radio. They were discussing daylight saving time and the movement to abolish it that is picking up in the United States. It is something I have never questioned. Because that is just what happens. In the fall, we fall back and in the spring, we spring forward. I discovered that Germany and its allies in World War I were the first countries to adopt daylight saving time as a way to conserve energy for the war effort. So this made me consider, how many other things are we doing, just because it is what we have always done?
"At first they said it couldn't be done but some were doing it. Then they said it could only be done by a few under special conditions, but more were doing it. Then they said, why would you do it any other way?"- anonymous
I shared this quote today at our co-learning session about shifting assessment practices. We were discussing how to make changes within a system where the structures have not changed quickly enough to keep pace and stay relevant. Ann Davies talks in her book "Making Classroom Assessment Work" (2007) about compensating for the compulsory. We can't rewrite regulations, or change mindsets overnight, but we can start the conversation. We can think about how best to work within the framework on behalf of student learning. We can lean into the discomfort and the challenging questions in an effort to improve student learning.