Death by Education — Thing 4

I have been reading the suggested blogs. They are addictive — so many good ideas. I have found myself unable to get the thoughts out of my mind that are so clearly articulated in Kris Bradburn’s post How to Prevent Another Leonardo DaVinci. So much of standard education seems devoted to killing curiousity and the love of learning. Many times we seem more interested in ranking our students than educating them. Our academic head has asked us to think about how to reward effort as opposed to only recognizing and awarding intelligence. That challenge together with the ideas in Kris Bradburn’s post lead to so many conflicting thoughts.

  • Our kids are sleepy. Take a look at the information from The National Sleep Foundation. Yet we need more time in the classroom.
  • The value of homework is questionable. See Dan Myer’s Why I don’t assign homework. Yet we will assign homework or be accused of being anti-academic.
  • Galileo turned our concepts of the universe around because he found a way to play with the idea of making pieces of shaped glass, putting them into a tube and attempting to see distant objects as though they were closer. Where does a student (or a teacher) get the time to do such an exploration?
  • Some students find themselves labeled ‘stupid’ in our schools. Yet the truth is (see this entry).

I am only getting started. I have much more to read and consider. Right now it seems that the forces to remove the human factor from education are ascendant. When I hear a question like the one our academic head posed and see thoughts like the ones I have read today, it gives me some hope that we aren’t stuck in that mold.

One thought on “Death by Education — Thing 4

  1. Hi Mike,
    How fun to get your comment! How fun especially when you live right across the street from me!
    Anyway, I enjoyed your posts, and I know from listening to your point of view for so many years that much of what we’re learning supports that point of view. I, too, am having the best time with this class. It is inspiring me in ways that I did not even know I had inside myself. My Google Reader has been amazing! There are a million good ideas to try. No, I have not tried the Wolfram Alpha information site. I will look at it right away. Yes, my blog title does come from Dickens, but even more so from Little Women. I’ve always had in my head the chapter where the sisters are upstairs in the garret – writing their own little news items using the Pickwick Papers as inspiration and creatively putting their ideas together – all from what they’d read and what was going on in their lives. Wouldn’t Jo March love blogging!!?? I have written to a couple of other people in our class who are librarians but not heard back. Maybe I’ll try again. Anyway, we definitely have to find a way to share with everyone when we return what we’ve done in this class. It would be great it we could get up a group of teachers to take this class in fall and you could lead them through the process. I’d love to help in any way.

    Signing off for now, but looking forward to reading more of what you write!!

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