This post was written during the height of the pandemic. The lessons still apply today.
In Learner-Centered Leadership I wrote:
“Even more bewildering is the way that we allocate time to these courses. Just about every high school in the US awards five credits for a ninety-hour course, and I have found very few educators who understand how we came to organize ourselves into this model … We award ‘credit’ based on seat time and further associate funding streams with this seat time … It is time for a change.”
I should note that this excerpt was written before COVID-19.
Now that we are approaching fall where many schools will be compelled to start the year with a distance learning model, the ridiculousness of these archaic seat time requirements is even more pronounced.
Here are two compelling reasons for us to eliminate seat-time.
Seat-time is Antiquated
The origins of the seat-time requirements date back to the beginning of the industrial era when our system was shifting from a very decentralized, “one room schoolhouse” model to a factory-model that emphasizes standardization and efficiency. More specifically, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released an influential report…