By Roz Rogoff
My Advice to Betsy DeVosUploaded: Feb 9, 2017
I was ready to write a blog supporting the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education even before I saw that Tim Hunt beat me to it. I will put a different spin on the reasons I support Mrs. DeVos, but I’m glad to see Tim is on target here too.
I have a Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California (USC). I completed my degree in 1979, almost 40 years ago. However, I am not, and never have been, part of the Public School establishment.
My degree is in Instructional Technology, which was originally an outgrowth of Audio Visual Education, but has been broadened to include CBT (Computer Based Education) and WBT (Web Based Education) and other forms of presenting or providing information to learners that can be customized or adapted to each individual’s learning styles and preferences.
The field of Instructional Design has grown considerably since 1979. I consider the blog I am writing right now to be a form of Instructional Design. Each reader chooses how much to accept or reject of my views. You can answer my comments with your own and agree or disagree with me.
The Democrats object to Mrs. DeVos lack of experience in the field of Education. Some of this is because the Democrat Party receives financial support from Teachers Unions and therefore supports teachers. I am not against teachers.
My mother was a history teacher, my paternal Grandmother was a third-grade teacher. I taught classes online for the University of Phoenix from 2002 to 2016. Teachers often provide great education for children, teens, and adults, but as a professional “Instructional Designer,” I consider teaching as only one method of producing learning in others. Learning should be the goal of Education – not teaching, not textbooks, and not schools.
Mrs. DeVos has proposed providing vouchers (i.e. methods of payment) so students can choose which school they want to attend. Choice is a good thing, but it should not be limited to choosing between public or private schools. Children learn in different ways, some by reading, some by viewing, and some by doing. I’m for vouchers for students to choose the instructional methods that work for them regardless of which school they attend.
The Department of Education should be renamed and repurposed as the Department for Learning. I hope Mrs. DeVos can break away from out dated methods and old fashioned ideas about teaching and learning. Teaching isn’t the important part of that process. Learning is.