Do You Suffer from the Lemming Condition?

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photo credit: Kakakrokodil via photopin cc

photo credit: Kakakrokodil via photopin cc

Award-winning actor and author, Alan Arkin, tells a brilliant tale in his young adult novel, The Lemming Condition.

The story is an allegory on conformity, as Bubber, a lemming, is faced with following his entire race to self-induced extinction.

Bubber struggles to decide if he should participate in what appears to be an insane death walk, only to constantly be told by family and friends that this is just the way things are. I won’t ruin the ending, but let’s just say that Bubber isn’t your garden variety conformist.

Several conversations with colleagues have me wondering if Arkin’s lemmings could have just as easily been today’s teachers — legions of people who conform daily to the principles of traditional methods and administrative pressure to teach to the test.

Like Bubber, we are constantly told this is just the way things are. Bubber was faced with extinction.

One must wonder, are educators next?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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