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On Changes in Education and Hurting Others' Feelings

Karl Fisch on why we don't pursue change in education, even when we know it is what is best for students:

The second concern is a bit more personal in the sense that we're worried about hurting someone's feelings. We're concerned that they will take our proposal for change as a personal attack, or as criticism that they aren't performing their job well. We generally like our colleagues, we know they care about our students and our community, and we know they work hard. So we don't want to cause them emotional pain, and we don't want to criticize or undermine their commitment and the hard work they are putting in.

This made me think of Seth Godin's post about Empathy a few days ago:

The useful answer is rarely, "because they're stupid." Or even, "because they're evil." In fact, most of the time, people with similar information, similar beliefs and similar apparent choices will choose similar actions. So if you want to know why someone does what they do, start with what they know, what they believe and where they came from.

We need to do a better job of trusting where people are coming from in education. There is too much suspicion of ulterior motives, rotten agendas, and self-preservation. The focus should be on the students, and making sure they are getting the best we have to offer.