“…rock the boat, and try something new…”
The title of this post comes from “Rachel’s Blog” – read on to find out more!
As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve tried to get ahead of the game with some of my new classes by introducing them to blogging straight away. They’ve only been blogging for a few days, and already they are throwing out challenges that I feel are worth passing on to you.
I’ve set them a piece of discursive writing as a way of encouraging the class to start using their blogs, and because I intend pushing this class I’ve set them a fairly challenging task for a first attempt. In essence, I’ve asked them to consider the statement:
Their essays aren’t due until Tuesday so I’ve refrained from posting too many comments at the moment (I don’t want the class to write what they think I want to read…), but I think some of you may wish to chip in with some thoughts on what my fledgling bloggers are starting to consider.
Claire appears quite cynical about the whole process of what is being taught in school. As she says:
Schools are not teaching us what we need to know because they are worried what we might find out. No matter what they say, adults feel superior to kids and most of them think they know it all and that us youths will find out what we need to know when we’re older.
I couldn’t help but think about the prevalent attitude towards filtering in schools as I read her words… and this is the point that Rachel makes really well in her post when she writes:
…my generation will all need computer and probably internet skills for when we leave school. The thing is though we are rarely allowed on the internet at school. When we do get on we find that a lot of the sites are blocked even if they are going to help our education.
In fact, there is a lot of good reading in Rachel’s post, and I think it’s fair to say that what she says will strike a chord with many of you out there…
Perhaps the real story is that Jonathan feels schools are teaching what is needed… but he is being challenged in this belief by Rachel… surely this is the start of the intellectual challenging that I remember so well from all my more challenging and rewarding classes at university? I can’t wait to see if Jonathan will respond… but I will understand if he doesn’t, after all, having your work actively challenged by your classmates is still a relatively new thing for most pupils!
Similarly, Laura casually lets slip what we have failed to acknowledge in the present school climate, that multi-tasking is the norm. Want to find out about Shakespeare? Laura recommends that, “…you could type it in google whilst chatting on Blogs, Msn, Myspace and Bebo…“. You just know she’ll be listening to her iPod and watching something on TV at the same time…
Katy is a little more reflective on the potential impact of ICT. She has recognised that the skills taught in schools are not necessarily those she’ll need in later life, and that “…if general skills were added into normal lessons, e.g. using computers in class.” then perhaps she’d be better prepared for the future. I have heard this from several leading educationalists, but it’s a sign of the times that even the pupils are recognising how we should be moving forward.
There have been several other excellent posts so far (and just about everyone – including Jenny , Alex and Rosie – has had something of value to add to the discussion), and I’ve really enjoyed reading them.
More importantly, I think you will too, so please take the time to read what some new voices have to say about education, and please feel free to comment on what they’ve written! I’ve been telling them the great strength of blogging is the conversations it engenders and so…