Today at ECET2KY, we were challenged by Chris Crouch (@the_explicator) to think about the metaphors we use to describe education. Through a conversation, Scott Diamond (@scottediamond) and I were able to develop a very applicable (and very science oriented) metaphor for education. Education is like culturing and nurturing stem cells.
The stem cells are undifferentiated and full of potential. They may “grow up” to become any type of cell that they “choose.” It’s up to the techs in the lab to nurture them–to keep them alive and thriving.
What is key in this process is that the techs don’t decide that all of the stem cells in the lab must differentiate into the same kinds of mature cells. Similarly, in education we must alway be conscious that we are expanding the possible futures for our students rather than funneling all of our students toward the same future.
This week, as you think about your students, try shifting your metaphor. Think of them as fragile stem cells that need nurture and love. Think of all that they are capable of when they are given the nurturing that they need.