Education in the World Today

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I read several articles from our Evernote notebook. I read 50 Crazy Ideas To Change Education, Why It’s Imperative to Teach Students How to Question as the Ultimate Survival Skill, 18 ways to promote creativity in your classroom, How do inquiry teachers teach?, and 4 Things to Consider As You Allow Phones in Class. The one thing that I thought tied all of these articles together was creativity. Some of these ideas resonated with me, others seemed outlandish and I could not bring myself to agree with what the author was saying, particularly in 50 Crazy Ideas To Change Education. Indeed, these things were crazy. The article I most agreed with was How do inquiry teachers teach? and I thought that it had great advice for teachers and a good approach on education.

The articles certainly were creative. 50 Crazy Ideas argued that students should be allowed to use smartphones in class and that schools should become “21st century cultural centers with cutting edge experts, technology, and programs” and “treat the goal of education as self-knowledge: Who am I, and how do I relate to the world around me?” These echo the sentiments of Why It’s Imperative to Teach Students How to Question as the Ultimate Survival Skill. In this article, the author suggests that students need to think and question in order to come to important conclusions. The author notes that this starts in schools, and students need to ask questions in school, and teachers need to encourage student questions. This idea of questioning is the core of inquiry teaching and How do inquiry teachers teach? touches upon how teachers need to encourage students to ask questions and take control of their learning, not just talk to students. Students should be the ones doing most of the talking and questioning, and the teacher should build the learning around students. All of this ties into allowing students to be creative and take control of their learning. The article 18 ways to promote creativity in your classroom, expands upon this by giving ideas on how to foster creativity such as “Ask for multiple possible answers to questions or multiple possible solutions to problems,” “Use technologies that encourage creativity,” and, perhaps my favorite idea presented, “Modify your discussions to allow for divergent ideas and interests.”

It is clear to see that these articles promote creativity and a more student centered learning. I agree with the points that I’ve quoted and I think it exemplifies the type of teaching I want to do. Students should be the ones who take control of their learning and ask questions and have the freedom to pursue these questions. To this end, I agree with the article 4 Things to Consider As You Allow Phones in Class, particularly the last point about discipline. I don’t think phones should be banned and they can be used as learning tools, so long as they are used correctly.

While I agree with much of the material in the articles, some of the suggestions in 50 Crazy Ideas To Change Education are almost too absurd for me to take seriously. For example, the author suggests that schools should “Make school walls invisible—literally made of glass.” To me, that lends itself to distractions as students will, more than likely, find ways to amuse themselves through interactions with other students in classrooms. Additionally, I’m sure point number twenty “Treat the best teachers like rock stars: Give them reality shows, endorsement deals, and huge contracts” is a joke. I don’t disagree with it, but reality shows and endorsement deals seem like big distractions from teaching. Sure, excellence should be recognized, but in a more appropriate way. Lastly, I disagree with the idea that schools should “Push the government out of schools completely.” Of course, government intervention can be a problem for schools by forcing teachers to teach only to standards and test scores, but there are many communities that can’t afford to fund their own schools. I do think that government should help to fund education, but they should also allow teachers more freedom to be better educators and allow students to learn, rather than force them to teach only to standards and test scores.

I think that pre-service teachers should embrace technology and the benefits that it can bring, but they should also embrace a student centered model of teaching. Students should be able to take control of their learning while the teacher guides them to learning goals. Teachers need to embrace and encourage creativity, and not fear giving up some control; they should relinquish some control to the students. Yes it is hard, and yes it is uncomfortable, but the results, when done properly, outweigh the work and discomfort while learning how to best incorporate students into the learning. When pre-student teaching last semester, I found that when I taught at the students, they listened, but they did not necessarily learn. When I put together a group exercise and let them share their ideas, they took a lot more from the lesson and I think they learned a lot more. Student input and creativity is important. I also think it is important to use technology to reach these goals.

Links:

50 Crazy Ideas To Change
Education
: http://www.teachthought.com/learning/50-radical-ideas-change-education/

Why It’s Imperative
to Teach Students How to Question as the Ultimate Survival Skill
: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/03/why-its-imperative-to-teach-students-how-to-question-as-the-ultimate-survival-skill/

18 ways to promote
creativity in your classroom
: http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2014/3/10/18-ways-to-promote-creativity-in-your-classroom-everyday.html

How do inquiry
teachers teach?
: http://inquiryblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/how-do-inquiry-teachers-teach-2/

4 Things to Consider
As You Allow Phones in Class
: http://www.edudemic.com/4-things-consider-allow-phones-class/

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4 thoughts on “Education in the World Today

  1. I also read a few articles that linked to creativity. I agree with the fact that students should control their own learning by asking questions and communicating more in class. Students will engage in learning better if they are communicating with the teacher what they do and don’t get. I also believe students should have the chance to answer their own questions. When the students ask questions, I believe the teacher should give the students an opportunity to research their curiosities on their own. The teacher needs to allow their students to have more freedom and learn on their own.

    I also read the article on the 50 crazy ideas. I believe many of the ideas were ones I had to disagree with as well. The three you stated were three I also did not agree with. Governments need to be included in schools to fund them. I also agree with you, that the government needs to give more teachers freedom on how they teach rather than teaching to the standardized tests.

    Lastly, teachers need to allow their class to be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. Teachers cannot lecture from the front of the classroom, yet they need to give the students a change to learn on their own. Students need to interact with each other rather than only listening to the teacher.

  2. I agree with you on the ideas in 50 Ways. I remember my elementary school had an open concept section where the walls could be pushed to the side to make a circle of classrooms. This was only done for special grade wide events. The idea of open concept seems to be distracting for students and teachers. I also agree with your idea that the government should not be completely removed, but I think that it is important to evaluate their role in our schools. I think standardized testing to rate funding is ridiculous and damaging for our students.

  3. I think you provided a good overview of each article. The article with 50 points seems to have some strange ideas. I agree that technology (such as phones) can be good tools in the class as long as they’re used properly as you stated. I also like your idea of creativity and giving students control of their own learning; that embodies a constructivist lesson. Do you believe standardized tests can limit the creativity that you believe needs to be a part of the classroom?

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