I recently, thanks to an episode of “30 Second Takes” gave some thought to the concept of “Best Practice” as we seem to use this term often in education. While I know that there are some things that generally work best, upon reflecting I have a genuine issue with this idea.
When I really started learning lots of new things about teaching I started to think, “yes, this is great stuff and we need to do it ‘this way.'” Yes, we do need to see more of things done in different ways, but we cannot forget about other ways as well. Learners are very different from one another. If “one way” worked for all of them, teaching would be easy. Teaching is NOT easy, it is in fact, VERY difficult. It is very difficult due in large part to the conflicting needs of a variety of learners that make up a single learning community.
So, while I appreciate using techniques that are “best practice” I also wonder, best practice for whom? When I decide that THIS is the way we should do it, who am I leaving out? Instead I need many “best practices” in my educational soup, all mixing together to create an environment in which every child has an opportunity to learn in the style that best suits them.