A morning and a challenge

You know you are going to have a good weekend when you wake up in the morning to this:


and after standing on your balcony with a cup of coffee reflecting on what all this means, your lovely wife joins you and then gives you a challenge.

This morning my wife sat down and grabbed the computer where I had my gmail account open. She started reading my e-mails and the comments from the teentek.com posting. She then came to the Thinking Stick and read the posting and all the responses here and clicked on the links to read what others had written. Then she looked at me and said “I think Will is right.”

“What?” I said, trying to figure out what she was talking about.

“In this comment he left you about teentek.com”

Very cool, Jeff. Very, very cool. And while your at it, just for all
the skeptics out there, why not have them keep a list of all the things
they are learning in the process. And then see how many of those things
are testable, and how many of them are just “I learned how to” type
things. We may be surprised!

“What do you mean?”

“This is a good idea, having the kids keep a list of all the things they learn in this class.”

“Yeah, I was thinking about this, I was thinking I could give the students the S&Bs and they could circle the ones that they think they’ve hit, and then write about how they accomplished that S&B.”

“I think you have it backwards.” My wife is a school counselor and does not have a teaching certificate. “You need to put the students in charge of their own learning, that’s what you’re always saying right?”

“Aaaa……”

“You should give them the S&Bs now and have them circle the ones they want to work on, then in a couple weeks have them write about what they’ve done to accomplish those goals. Maybe they’ll find out they’ve actually circled the wrong S&B or that the one they circled really didn’t apply, or maybe they’ll write you how they accomplished that goal. You could do this a couple different times through the semester, and by semesters end you would have a student produced list of all the S&Bs the each student has accomplished. You should do that.”

“Aaaaaaa…”

“Will’s right you could do some really cool stuff with this class…guess I should actually go there and see the site.”

So there it is, the challenge to gather data to show that this stuff really does work. I’m not sure where my wife got all this from, but she must have had a pretty good teacher. 😉

Here’s to you Sweets….thanks for the challenge!

2 Comments

  1. Your wife is right as is Will. You will be surprised. I once taught Wellness and we did a sharing circle with the question:
    “What is one thing you learned that is worth knowing and where did you learn it?”
    Each kid’s reply was as unique as their thumbprint:
    “Waiting to the last minute to do your part in a group project just make people made at you and can cost you friends–my history project two weeks ago.”
    “Honesty just works–lying to my mom.”
    “Your hair needs a break between tie jobs or it will fall out.” Hers was self explanatory looking at her purple hues.
    Schooling really is about the process of learning and creating habits of the mind rather than the content of the curriculum.

  2. I had to smile at your conversation with your wife, but it was a wry smile of recognition. My husband is an IT and Ops manager for a clothing company. He knows nothing about learning. Ha ha. So I get up on my podium and go into teacher mode and tell him all about how learning has changed and knowledge has changed and literacy has changed. And does he sit there, nodding at my sagacity, as he ought? Does he heck! He takes issue with some of the points I raise and argues the toss and pokes holes in the facbric of my well-reasoned monologues-turned-dialogues. In fact, to the extent that I felt constrained to post one of his observations as a comment on my own post here: http://karynromeis.blogspot.com/2006/09/more-on-changing-face-of-literacy.html

    Sometimes I think we get too close to the wood to see the trees.

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