Dec 9, 2010
Comments Off on I’m not a parent. My thoughts may not be as precise as yours, as my interaction with little kids is limited. But I see the implications in teenagers. That said, I marvel at the play that my nephews (4 and 2) engage in. I think often of what the implicit lessons taught by the nature of their play, but more importantly by the nature of our discipline. Just the fact that we consider what we do “classroom management” implies that control is a major part of teaching and anytime we are talking control we are losing creativity. I like that this article calls to notice, “ambiguity, complexity, and improvisationóthe very things needed to innovate and come up with creative solutions to the massive global challenges in economics, the environment, education, and more.” When is that part of what we do? Why is it not? We need to recognize the need for these skills, along with some more traditional skills (literacy, numeracy, etc.) as being essential in the new media/economic landscape. I think there is a departure from the linear mindset that we NEED to be focusing on. I worry about kids when so much of what they do is scheduled, structured and sanitized. I don’t want to be one of those people that longs for the good ol’ days, but I do think we’ve lost a sense of adventure, exploration and unstructured-ness. Heck, I worry we, as a culture/society, don’t get outside enough. The article states, “I grow concerned when the daily folder my child brings home focuses on rewarding the following behaviors: walk quietly, keep hands to self, raise hand before speaking, and sit still in chair. I’d like to see a second folder promoting things like: had an original idea, created a new game on the playground, made up a story, solved a problem for a friend, or invented something uncommon from a common object.” I feel the same way. We work so hard at preparing students for a structured, rules-based life, which I don’t think we live in. School becomes a series of hoops to jump through. This can’t be what learning has to look like, there must be another/better model. †Ithink so much focus of our current assessment and evaluation is on following the rules and fitting within a set structure. Looking at those four pillars, I tend to think she is right. We (the system) don’t provide open environments, instead we sit in rows. We use limited flexible tools. Instead, the writing we teach is very formulaic. Do we offer real choice as to what type of writing we want our students to complete? Even the rules we have and set are rarely in the interest of students, they are more often in the interest of making it easier for the teacher. All this is not to say that I think we are terrible. I don’t think we’re headed down the toilet. I’m not complaining, but rather looking for opportunities and areas where we can improve. Like our last discussion, I don’t think we need to throw everything out, but I do think the status quo is not enough. Anyway, I’m no expert. These are just a few of my thoughts. I’m interested in your thoughts as teachers and as parents. I’m with Sir Ken Robinson on this one when he states, “Creativity is something that everyone has, yet more often it is beaten out of kids in schools.”

I’m not a parent. My thoughts may not be as precise as yours, as my interaction with little kids is limited. But I see the implications in teenagers. That said, I marvel at the play that my nephews (4 and 2) engage in. I think often of what the implicit lessons taught by the nature of their play, but more importantly by the nature of our discipline. Just the fact that we consider what we do “classroom management” implies that control is a major part of teaching and anytime we are talking control we are losing creativity. I like that this article calls to notice, “ambiguity, complexity, and improvisationóthe very things needed to innovate and come up with creative solutions to the massive global challenges in economics, the environment, education, and more.” When is that part of what we do? Why is it not? We need to recognize the need for these skills, along with some more traditional skills (literacy, numeracy, etc.) as being essential in the new media/economic landscape. I think there is a departure from the linear mindset that we NEED to be focusing on. I worry about kids when so much of what they do is scheduled, structured and sanitized. I don’t want to be one of those people that longs for the good ol’ days, but I do think we’ve lost a sense of adventure, exploration and unstructured-ness. Heck, I worry we, as a culture/society, don’t get outside enough. The article states, “I grow concerned when the daily folder my child brings home focuses on rewarding the following behaviors: walk quietly, keep hands to self, raise hand before speaking, and sit still in chair. I’d like to see a second folder promoting things like: had an original idea, created a new game on the playground, made up a story, solved a problem for a friend, or invented something uncommon from a common object.” I feel the same way. We work so hard at preparing students for a structured, rules-based life, which I don’t think we live in. School becomes a series of hoops to jump through. This can’t be what learning has to look like, there must be another/better model. †Ithink so much focus of our current assessment and evaluation is on following the rules and fitting within a set structure. Looking at those four pillars, I tend to think she is right. We (the system) don’t provide open environments, instead we sit in rows. We use limited flexible tools. Instead, the writing we teach is very formulaic. Do we offer real choice as to what type of writing we want our students to complete? Even the rules we have and set are rarely in the interest of students, they are more often in the interest of making it easier for the teacher. All this is not to say that I think we are terrible. I don’t think we’re headed down the toilet. I’m not complaining, but rather looking for opportunities and areas where we can improve. Like our last discussion, I don’t think we need to throw everything out, but I do think the status quo is not enough. Anyway, I’m no expert. These are just a few of my thoughts. I’m interested in your thoughts as teachers and as parents. I’m with Sir Ken Robinson on this one when he states, “Creativity is something that everyone has, yet more often it is beaten out of kids in schools.”

The Four Secrets of Playtime That Foster Creative Kids

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