Chapter 1. Learning in the Company of Adults
"It is a striking fact that kids don't keep a lot of company these days with the kinds of adults—in or out of schoo... http://tl.gd/bf7c8i
A little over a year ago I visited a middle school and sat in on some classes. This was a good school, beautiful building, friendly staff, and well articulated program. My purpose this day was not to observe the teachers but to observe the students. What struck me was how disconnected many of them seemed to any adults in the room. In one classroom the teacher tried on multiple occasions to talk with her students who blatantly ignored her. After many minutes of frustration at the lack of responsiveness they displayed toward her she transitioned into a punitive mode, scolding students, writing referrals, generally falling on the authoritative power she had license to yield to mandate behavior. After some uncomfortable moments the classroom was sufficiently "managed" and on-task. The students were asked to do some group work. I took this occasion to try to join in on some groups. I was initially treated with the same kind of disregard even though my interactions were merely conversational in nature and lacked the "authority" of the teacher. With some of these students it seemed as if they lacked any experience in talking with adults.
"Children once learned the arts and crafts of being a grown-up by belonging to a community whose habits and rituals... http://tl.gd/bf7cfl
"In seeking a substitute for the natural learning communities of yesterday, we invented schools and then systematic... http://tl.gd/bf7ctb
"In seeking a substitute for the natural learning communities of yesterday, we invented schools and then systematically began to downgrade anything learned in nonschool ways." MeierHow often do we tend to downplay credentials of those who are self-taught?
"The older they get, the less like 'real life' their schooling experience is—and the more disconnected and fractionated." Meier
When was the last time you had to go somewhere where every fifty minutes a bell rang signaling you to drop whatever it is you are doing, pack up, and move to another location where you start something completely unrelated? How many projects do you get involved with that operate on this kind of schedule?
"We are—in short—perhaps the only civilization in history that organizes its youth so that the nearer they get to b... http://tl.gd/bf7dam
@anderscj those quotes so on target...
"The key was that we risked showing ourselves to be learners alongside the student. We teachers made it acceptable ... http://tl.gd/bf7dn1
I cannot over-stress how important I believe it is to model learning for students. This is what Ted Sizer calls giving students their learner's permits. By modeling our own learning, by asking questions we do not know the answers to and letting students see us struggle to answer them, we are issuing learner's permits for our students.
"the willingness to take risks, ask questions, and make mistakes is a requirement for the development of expertise." Meier
"Learning happens fast when the novices trust the setting so much that they aren't afraid to take risks, make mista... http://tl.gd/bf7e4j
"It's not just that kids have a hard time believing their teachers use the bathroom, but that their teachers learn ... http://tl.gd/bf7eae
"Sharing expertise—copying—is viewed not as cheating but as a useful way of learning." Meier
"For many teachers of tenth graders these days, changing the course outline in light of the changed course of histo... http://tl.gd/bf7eqd
"For many teachers of tenth graders these days, changing the course outline in light of the changed course of history is literally to risk children's educational futures—and their own—in light of state exams." MeierHow many classrooms in the US last spring followed, discussed, and/or studied the events in North Africa? I suspect very few. And, those classrooms where these current events were discussed I suspect they were not given the levity they deserved. I suspect they were simply brought in as a course "add-on." Am I wrong in my assumptions?
"One teaches best by listening and learns best by telling." Meier
I absolutely love this last quote. Reminds me of this one by John Holt:
"Bill Hull once said to me, 'Who needs the most practice in talking at school? Who gets the most?' Exactly." John Holt (1964) How Children Learn