Metaphors for the State of Public Education

Silos and onions. A good overview.

Silos are probably the most common metaphor used. Educators and administrators frequently work and exist on parallel, separately-functioning paths even as they profess the same goal. Information between and even within departments is fastidiously confined to hierarchy and exchanged on a “need to know” basis.

The onion metaphor is new to me. In short, the U.S. education system is an onion built of layers upon layers of decision-making processes. I would add also that these layers are often exact replicas of the same. Challenges and interactions that teachers have with their students are often the same challenges and interactions that principals have with their teachers, are often the same challenges and interactions that district administrators have with their principals. In a system of onions, problems are compounded exponentially and everyone can quickly collapse into the same level of relationship hell.

In truth the actions and developments of each silo and layer regularly affect the scope, success, and agendas of every other.


Filed under: EDUCATION

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