Monday, October 21, 2013

Academic Freedom

What is the role of academic freedom in public schools?

To me, academic freedom means that educators have the choice to respond to students with tools, strategies, and materials that educate well.

I do believe that academic freedom should follow a set of "loose-tight" protocols, protocols that ensure that the tools, strategies, and materials used match the intent and purpose of an institution's vision and mission.

I also believe that protocol setting should not be taken lightly. Setting protocols should be a thoughtful process that includes the voice of all members of a learning community: families, students, educators, leaders, and community members.

When educators are given academic freedom, they are able to embed their passion, research, observations, and experience into responsive choice and voice when it comes to teaching children well. When curriculum becomes scripted, chosen for us, and mandated, little room is left for the art of the job--the ability to choreograph a program that speaks to the learners in your midst.

I believe learning design has to be a collaborative process that includes time, effort, creativity, research, and response.

Academic freedom is important to good teaching, and "loose-tight" protocols are important too. How does your organization promote academic freedom while also presenting a united front that supports an organization's mission and vision? I want to learn more about this topic.