Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Pride through personal excellence
An experience of excellence
It seems these days teachers rush through tasks to ‘deliver’ or ‘cover’ the curriculum.
The idea of doing things well has been lost in this rush yet we all know that pride of achievement comes from succeeding so well at a task we even surprise ourselves.
As a result students produce little of real substance. Teachers are too busy proving what they have done to focus on the more important need to see each student does the very best work they can.
All the criteria and feedback formative assessment means little if the teachers have no idea of excellence. Some experience of excellence comes from:
'Mastering at least one thing supremely well. It can be anything – music, mechanics, motorcycle racing. If you don’t go deep into something, you don’t know what extraordinary performance is. You get satisfied with ordinary performance. And if you have never experienced it yourself, it’s hard to be a role model. Without an experience of excellence, you won’t appreciate the quality in others.’
Harry Davis University of Chicago.
Teachers would be well advised to stop ‘delivering a curriculum that is an inch deep and a mile wide’ and do fewer things well – and in this process ensure that students experience the power and pride of achieving personal excellence.
To achieve this teachers need to have the courage to throw way the current imposed standardized curriculums and instead focus of personalising their teaching to suit the talents and needs of each student.