Monday, March 17, 2014
Article Read: No Wonder Nobody Wants to Come
By: Ira Socol
Summary: This article discusses the need for more classrooms to operate as a whole group collaboration instead of an independent work environment. If students want to do independent work and just check in with an expert on occasion, then why should they waste their time coming to school. There are plenty of educational video resources (Khan Academy) that could provide that learning and the students could be in a more relaxed environment. The idea of isolation learning is not much different from the teacher that has taught the same material in the same way for the last 30 years. In order for students to be better learners and more engaged, classrooms should support the following structure: driven by student choice, personalized time lines and schedules, technology that supports their learning, and adult rankings to standards. Without this structure, the author suggests that students have no reason to bother coming to school.
The writer addresses many hot topics that educators are discussing more and more. She has many great points but also limited perspective to truly making this environment work consistently in a public school setting. First, I agree with the need for students to have as much choice as possible in the work they do. While it is still guided and monitored, I feel that students will push themselves far more when they are engaged. Also, I agree that working together to solve problems and analyze new information is very important to be molded in our classrooms. That is very true to how our work world operates and is an enviornment that students need to be familiar with. This article also addresses the use of technology. Technology is not going anywhere so it is imperative that students learn how to use it to assist their learning as well as expand their current world. I would rather teach students the appropriate use of technology while under a protective umbrella of school moderation. My concerns about this article stem from the realities of having very diverse learners at many different levels, classroom size and lack of resources, as well as the importance to learn to do tasks well that you may not completely enjoy--i.e. perseverance. So, yes, I do embrace many of the practices this author states, but I feel that there are outside factors that drive your teaching as well as different groups have different developmental needs. My goal is to use collaborative teaching that allows my students to be the forces behind the work selected while also instilling foundational concepts and work habit.