As an educator/teacher I need to keep in mind what I feel is best for my students and their success outside of school. The article Why School? presented some ideas of school reform that emphasize that teachers should have students practice more learning and discovering the material instead of hard facts memorization. The memorization is something that students are familiar with, they are used to teachers standing in the front of the room and telling them what is important and what information the students will need to regurgitate on the test. The article suggests that this is something that teachers need to stay away from and start introducing the students to the idea of discovering the material and playing with the ideas and concepts to try to make sense of them. This shift toward discovery is something that common core is really pushing. Having taught common core, I found that there is much more learning in my classroom but it was something that was very hard for my students to get used to. Instead of giving notes and examples, students had to work in teams to solve problems and make sense of concepts. Providing this kind of environment is excellent for my students because when they get out in the workplace they are going to need the social skills and the ability to problem solve to find a solution with their team. This type of learning is needed in our schools and are students need exposure to it.
Of the six learning/unlearning ideas presented in the article, I could commit to are discovering the curriculum, be a master learner, transfer the power and share everything. I feel that these ideas of learning/unlearning are something that are needed in my classroom. Discovering the curriculum will not only teach my students how to learn but also provide them with deeper understanding of the material. Also by having them discover is helps them become a master learner and understand how to teach themselves ideas and concepts. Finally by transferring the power and sharing everything, students will feel empowered in my classroom. Students will feel that their ideas and opinions matter inside my classroom. This will help them take mathematical risks and step out of their comfort zone to prepare them for life outside of school. It will give them the confidence to succeed in whatever tasks they might take on.
Of the six learning/unlearning ideas presented in the article, I think I would struggle with talk to strangers and do real work for real audiences. I think I would have trouble with talking to strangers because I’m not too sure how to prepare the kids for activities that. The article suggest to have an expert talk with the students but I don’t know who I would ask to do that or what they would talk about. Finally doing real work for real audiences would be something that I would struggle with because I’m not to sure how I could set up the activities/tasks to have students benefit from it. I think that I would need to find some activities that are already set up and planned to help me find something that would really connect the material to real world experiences.
These were just some thoughts about the article. The one thing that I really want to try to bring into my classroom is student discovery. I want my students to make conjectures and develop ideas about the material, and then test those ideas to enhance their experience and learning of the material.