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Agree: Pick a significant statement that Ken Robinson makes in the speech that you strongly agree with.

Discuss why you think the statement you picked has a significant impact on our educational system as we know it, our school, your classroom or the students you teach. 


Discussion is more valuable when you post your thoughts and then respond to other teachers. Please reply to 2 to 3 others who contributed their opinions. 

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Divergent thinking is key, but when there is one right answer on a standardized test, and like it or not, standardized testing does drive instruction and curriculum, then how can I foster it in my teaching?

I am fortunate to teach Language Arts where there is a lot of wiggle room.  I am constantly telling kids when they ask for the right answer, that this is not math.

wiggle room, wiggle room.  I too tell my kids, when I hear "what'd ya get on question 5"  or the like that there is no one right answer.  There is only the perception of the people who got to write the history, and the perception of the people who were vanquished. 

I would be interested to see a study that followed students into their adult lives.  If student CSAP scores, throughout primary and secondary education, were compared to their  "success" in the real world, what correlation would we see?
very little ... but scores may translate into funding for college.  Where do we set our sights?
I would like to see this as well. But, success in college is not a determination of success in life either. I listened to something the other day that said colleges were starting to teach kids their freshman year courses that related to their degree field (doctor = medical classes) because so many kids were taking the required courses freshman and sophomore years and dropping out because they couldn't see a connection to real life and the field they wanted to go into.

So would I!  Of course success is very subjective.

I'm not using textbooks much this year.  In each class we are picking out maybe 15-20 essential topics and studying those things.  I have picked the topics, I get to be in charge. (not that I would hesitate for a second if I had a kid say hey let's also study the history of the deep sea diving suit.)  That hasn't come up yet.  There is a great deal of collaboration (amongst the willing, though I haven't figured out what to do with the unwilling.)  Thankfully, for now at least, in Colorado there isn't a standardized test for social science, though I'm anxoiusly awaiting that day.  NOT.  It is my goal to help my students discover how we got to where we are.  With any luck after that they'll figure out how to make it better.  My classes don't look much like the classes I went to high school in.  I think that is a good thing.

I think that is a good thing as well. I think there is value in not following out of a textbook. Do you find it is more work, less work or are there drawbacks you wish there weren't?

The study where students were asked to list ways to use a paper clip was thought provoking.  It apparently shows that formal education is somewhat stifling when it comes to kid's creativity.  I try to find ways to allow my students to use whatever resources they can to help them become successful.  Yet, this "success" is determined by how well they fit into all the boxes we currently define. The definitions must change before there can be a solution.  


We battle changing these definitions because absolutes are comfortable.  You either fit or you don't.  Having the right answer makes you successful.  The wrong answer puts you into the "non-academic" category which comes with many labels: ADHD, learning disabled, slow, etc.  

I agree with Lori.  We teach kids that having the right answer means you are successful and alot of times for those "non-academic" category kiddos we are not giving them the tools that they need to get that answer.  There are many ways to arrive at that right answer and what are we doing to make sure to provide each student with the correct tools to be successful.
I think our schools are run like factories, but the idea of getting away from this model that has been the bedrock for 100 years is frightening.  Then again, the bedrock itself is cracking and in the end we're all gonna die.  Probably in 2012.

We want to do what we did in the past...however this alienates millions of kids.

We are a generation of "why fix what is not broken." We see a lot of "broken kids" in the education system so what does need to be done in order to fix this? Do we look back to when we were all in school or ahead to what could work for this generation of students?



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