Twice in the last 24 hours, I have heard the expression “the secret sauce” in regard to education. That is what prompted me to write this entry. My main question is simple, “Could there possibly be a secret sauce?” My first reaction is no. Let me explain why I think so.
For many years, educators and educational researchers have tried to figure out the “best way” to educate our youth. None of these theories have completely fit the bill and all have tended to leave certain types of students struggling to learn because the method in which they were taught did not work for them. An educator’s perspective oftentimes clouds the issue; although we try to be objective in our pedagogical development, the fact is that humans see things first through their personal lens.
The secret sauce, on the other hand, which I believe is a play on McDonald’s “special sauce,” is a recipe that does not vary. It works for that organization and I cannot see them changing it. They might, but it will always be secret and always be ONE solution. There are not 100 different “secret sauces” at the same time, in other words (“I’ll have secret sauce number twelve, please”). In addition, they are not necessarily concerned with pleasing or supporting everyone with their “secret sauce.” If you do not like it, do not eat it. Educators, on the other hand, are trying to figure out ways to include everyone and create a positive learning atmosphere. Educators are also not trying to find the best “topping” for a pedagogical method; educators are looking for what goes into the, pardon the pun, meat of the method. So, applying a “saucy” solution to our educational situation would simply never work.
There are many other reasons why trying to find that secret recipe for education is a futile exercise. I cannot go into them here, but perhaps in later posts.