Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why not?

So with the school year nearing an end and our state testing season upon us I've been thinking...

Why don't we ask our kids how they want to learn the material?  Why don't we select 10-12 students from every course...good students, lazy students, smart students, students with special needs...and ask them to look back at the standards covered and the concepts assessed and get their opinion on more effective and more interesting ways to teach?

Could they inform us about why they struggled to pay attention?  Could they let us know where we had them and where we lost them?  Could they show us that they actually knew and understood what we wanted them to know and understand but that we just didn't ask them the right questions?

Not a day goes by where I don't learn something.  Yet I don't have a classroom or a teacher or a standard that some legislator/teacher/committee decided was important for making me into a "contributing citizen of an ever-increasing globalized world."  I just learn because I'm interested.

Why do we feel that it's okay to put a 16-year-old behind the wheel of an automobile but not allow him to have a say in what he learns and how he learns it?

Is it because we'd then realize we don't have all the answers?  That our students have something to teach us?