Language is a powerful tool in education.
It can be used to open new ideas and concepts but it can also be used to shut people out of conversations.
One of the words that I often find myself hearing in conversation is consistency.
We want the children in our schools to exercise consistent behaviour and receive consistent standard of education.
“Students need to have the same experience otherwise parents will compare.”
I often have trouble reconciling the frequent usage of this term in schools while at the same time striving to ensure all the children have powerful and meaningful learning experiences in class.
From my perspective consistency means a lack of change and of deviation. Creating a personalised learning environment for my students requires a great deal of responsiveness and flexibility.
After setting the last Unit of Inquiry’s central idea ‘Cultures express themselves through the arts’ and key concepts, my team went off in entirely different directions using different disciplines to explore the same concept. Instead of each class doing the same thing, each teacher played to their strength.
We will finish up our unit with a festival arts where the children have an opportunity to learn how different classes have approached the same idea.
It’s an inconsistent approach yet one full of powerful and meaningful learning for the children in my year group.
Perhaps that word does not mean what you think it means.