Via Matthew Davis, a mathematics student at the College, and Sir Ken Robinson.
This brought to light a lot of things that will need some serious consideration in the coming years, not that I think any of it will be addressed/altered in the next fifty:
The part that questions our method of sending our kids through the system based on their age seems like such an obvious example of how sticking to this formulaic way of doing things hinders growth, and yet it’s so deeply ingrained in me that age and grade level go together it that it seems so profound to suggest that we teach kids some other way. I’m doing my student teaching right now, and there are a handful of kids that absolutely should not be forced to go through sixth grade or seventh grade even! Some of my students’ reading and writing abilities would benefit so much more from being challenged at a higher grade level than from being forced to discuss the punctuation of interrogative sentences (again) and how to visualize what is being read. My sixth grade kids are at least as capable of some of my (not to be mean) dullest eighth grade students; why aren’t they organized based on ability? The way we do things is so foolish!
And, again, the ADD thing was so well explained, and it’s just disturbing how we choose to alter the chemistry of children instead of altering the way the system works. Yet, being in the middle of student teaching, I’m getting some first hand experience with how slowly the system changes, and this has to do with a variety of factors. One is the analality (analness?) of parents, which leads to the analness of administrators and teachers and board members. Nothing gets done because no one wants to upset the tax-paying, budget-approving parents, and even if some people did want to change their district or their classroom even they’d be stonewalled by all the standards and assessments required by the state.
There was at least one other thing I wanted to address, but my ADD strikes. Ah no, it was the thing about the genius level of whatever that was. I think it’s incredible that there are actually measurements of students’ ability to think creatively or laterally that show how their ability is decreasing as time goes by or as they go through the system. If that isn’t indicative of a problem I don’t know what is, and if the skills the market will demand are unpredictable and likely to require students’ ability to think creatively, rather than to regurgitate facts, why on earth are we continuing to narrow students’ thinking?
Very interesting. Very very interesting. Mmmm and the disjunction between the individualize assessment and the demand for people to work well collaboratively.
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