Sunday, October 3, 2010

Turning Schools Into Robot Factories

Just this year, my school-loving 8 year old doesn't want to go anymore. "It is boring", she says. It's a lot of work. So. . . .I am beginning to wonder if pacing-guides have replaced inspiration and creativity in her third grade classroom. I even had a discussion today with my hard-working high school sophomore who thinks that her younger sister has "too much homework." I reminded her that there is a tremendous amount of pressure on teachers to cover 22 years of standards in 12 years so they keep stapling more math problems, grammar practice and reading logs together to send home.

I am not sure that more homework at third grade is the answer. What about discovery and imagination?

Check out this link to a thought-provoking article.


  1. Creativity and imagination have fallen victim to the standards and testing. I cheered when the standards were first introduced. I felt that they would give teachers a path towards easing the transition from class to class and level to level. Instead, we are now pushed into teaching in lock-step formation with "roadmaps", and we're being held accountable for our students’ learning without being given the resources or flexibility of using our professional knowledge to decide what needs to be done in our classroom. I no longer see the joy of discovery in my students’ eyes. When Jim Cummins said something to the effect that our students don’t drop out, they just never drop in, he hit it on the head,

  2. I agree. I am teaching 3rd and have taught other grades in the elm. level. In the past few years we have gone to a teaching model of EDI, explicit direct instruction, where students get the objective and definitions to memorize then very boring lesson delivery. Some of this type of teaching is ok, but we have been given the directive of EDI all day, no science or social studies, and growing in the api is all that is important. It makes learning and teaching boring and sad.

  3. Yes, it does. So what is the solution? Maybe it's time for teachers to band together and insist on using strategies, content and lessons that are based in creativity and imagination. What do you think? How would that be possible?


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