Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Messages about education.
A simple display with important messages
I have been reading an article on the web about the pressures being placed on young children and their teachers in the United States to achieve expectations set by standardized tests. In the process teachers have had to narrow their curriculum to ensure their school does well when results are published. And as well, I guess, they would be worried about their tenure?
Another article described a young student who has been held back twice and now is three years older than her classmates because she obviously hadn't passed appropriate tests.
This is what happens when politicians impose simplistic solutions to complex problems.
What ‘messages’ about learning, and American culture, are being given by such articles?
In contrast the work above was done by creative seven year olds with an equally creative teacher. Work of this quality is to be seen in every class in this school.
When you visit such a class you can’t but admire: the quality of student's thought (in this case their prior ideas about what causes thunder and lightening); the teacher who had the sense to take advantage of a teachable moment to motivate her students; and a teacher who obviously understands the need to present her student's work in a way that tells them she really cares for their work.
As well the teacher has obviously helped her students acquire the design and graphic skills to present their work with individual style. The attention to detail is continued with an approach to handwriting, almost to the degree of making it an art form.
This is personalized education not schooling. About valuing student individuality, learning style , and creativity; hard to measure with standardized testing.
I know what class I would like my students be in.