I proposed Iron Educator America. We could take Tuesday night, picking up that giant Biggest Loser audience.
Yes, it's a joke, but it's still a real idea. The chance for Americans to think about really doing education differently, just as cooking shows, from The French Chef to Iron Chef America, have changed Americans' ways of thinking about food.
I proposed that we start with Iron Educators Alec Couros (@courosa) and Shelly Blake-Plock (@teachpaperless) going at it - demonstrating their exceptional skills. Dr. Couros could show us the open hybrid college course. Mr. Blake-Plock could show us a Latin class run without paper. Will Richardson (@willrich45) was tabbed by our Twitter crowdsource as "Chairman" (nimble, entertaining, and vegetarian). Few challenge "the norms" in education as effectively as Will does. Chad Ratliff (@chadratliff) got the Alton Brown host role. He is one of those exceptional synthesizers, who forces out the complex explanations behind education practice. Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo), educational reporter extraordinaire, would take the floor reporter position.
our nimble chairman, Will Richardson
Imagine: Week after week, we'd see two master educators do things differently, excite students, pull the whole class in. We'd pick "winners" because America always wants there to be a "loser," but just like Iron Chef the point would be how great both were. We could cover a wild range of styles and every grade level. See Lisa Parisi (@lparisi) and Christine Southard co-teach with Universal Design. See Michael Wesch (@mwesch) run his digital ethnography course at Kansas State. Eventually, probably during sweeps, Derrell Bradford (@dyrnwyn) and I will go at it.
Imagine: People could see what their schools might look like, instead of simply relying on their own self-serving memories of school.
Imagine: People might actually debate educational practice at "the water cooler."
Iron Educator America is a joke, of course. But maybe it's a joke whose time has come.
- Ira Socol