Sir William Osler and His Inspirational Words


It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has. ~ William Osler

Too many leaders and promoters of the education reform movement are pontificating prognosticators rather than practiced practictioners.

For many reformers, their view and vision of education is shaped and informed by business experience and their ability to increase corporate earnings, rather than actual classrooom experience and years of cultivating student learning.

Reformers view education more as a digitized, mechanized, and standardized delivery system, and the classroom is an artificial learning environment where personalized products will engage delayed and disinterested learners.

Reformers mistakenly believe that focusing on high quality standards, standardized testing, and data-driven instruction will increase student achievement and prepare them for the social and emotional challenges of college and careers.

Success in the classroom and the workplace is much less about close reading and staying connected to text as it is about the ability to maintain close relationships and connect with other humans.

The Common Core emphasizes the development of hard skills so our students can compete with foreign students while employers increasingly desire and demand employees with soft skills who can collaborate with foreign workers.

Entrusting David Coleman to manage and direct the process of creating the Common Core State Standards has resulted in a sterile and standardized approach to teaching that is more data-driven and test-centered than desire-driven and learner-centered.

Reformers seem to have a huge blind spot when it comes to their continued praise and support for Coleman and the empathy-less classroom practices and policies he advocates for our children.

Hard to believe these parents would entrust their own children with a babysitter, tutor, coach, mentor, doctor, counselor, or teacher who informed them,  “As you grow up in this world, you realize people really don’t give a sh#@ about what you feel or what you think.”

Can only imagine how different the Common Core State Standards would be if the chief architect had been Sir Ken Robinson or Sir William Osler…

“…Perhaps Osler’s greatest contribution to medicine was to insist that [medical] students learned from seeing and talking to patients and the establishment of the medical residency…

He liked to say, “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.”

His best-known saying was “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.”

Source: Sir William Osler and His Inspirational Words 

Ed reformers misguided and misplaced efforts to increase student achievement will not succeed if they continue to support rigorous and standardized rules for learning rather than a more vigorous and vibrant approach in the classroom that embraces the philosophy….learning rules!

Hell! there ain’t no rules around here! We are tryin’ to accomplish somep’n! ~ Thomas Edison



1 thought on “Sir William Osler and His Inspirational Words

  1. Pingback: #whatif… | WagTheDog

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