Thursday, March 3, 2011

This is why I educate
has a great post...I think most everyone would agree with. I bet 99.9% of my students would agree but I probably shouldn't share it with them as that would be too unprofessional, "ballsy" etc.
But here are some highlights....I could have written this and most every student I know could have. It's what's wrong with education.

I was duped. During my years in school I always annoyed my teachers by asking why I needed to learn what was being taught. Annoying them wasn't my intention. I really wanted to understand. So they told me.

Common answers were:
  1. Because you’ll need to know this someday.
  2. Because you’ll need to know this when you grow up.
  3. Because it will be on the test.
  4. Because it will help you become a critical thinker.
Here’s what I learned in school:
  1. I learned to dislike subjects that I love in the real world.
  2. I learned that school was all about doing meaningless work without a real purpose or audience.
  3. I learned not to question anything or do things my own way.
  4. I learned that regurgitating what the teacher said, even though I disagreed, would get me good grades.
  5. I learned to imagine standardized test creators as stuffy old white men and women who only saw things in one boring way with only one possible answer even though my mind could figure out ways that other possibilities could be true.
  6. I learned that no teacher could explain why I needed to learn Algebra or its application in the real world. It did not help me think critically. In fact I never learned Algebra even though I memorized algorithms long enough to pass a test. No algebra teacher I ever had could explain why I needed to learn that awful stuff. Today I don’t know Algebra. I ask people what they think I’m missing as a result. I never get a good answer beyond it teaches you to think critically, but I can think critically without it.
The blog also gives some solutions which are great as well but these little lists above really spoke to me.

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