A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are teachers getting in the way of learning?

As I finished this post, I realized that I have talked about the Independent Project before... here is that previous post. The video is new though.

I have a feeling I'm going to upset someone with this post. And I am making peace with that.

This video is put together by a student at an a school affiliated with The Independent Project. The program started in Massachusetts as an alternative school. This Huffington Post article does a good job of explaining it (watch the video with it as well). The gist is that students decide on a Monday what they want to learn and then spend the week wrestling with it. On Fridays, students present their findings.

I know, it sounds like kids would just dink around all week but, the administrators of the program found that students held themselves and each other accountable, and the end of week outputs exceeded the state standards. There are requirements for the weekly exploration and there are teachers who help facilitate the learning, but students research what students are curious about.

Yes, the format raises some obvious questions and red flags, but before babies go out with bath water...

Think about facilitating students as they teach themselves.

Think about engaging with students who are curious and fearless and interested in more than regurgitating data on a test.

Think about seeing students as more than data points to be manipulated.


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