On Teaching

Great Teachers. I value great teachers: Teachers who care deeply about each student’s education–i.e., that their students learn deeply–and who develop curricula, lessons, and assessment models to aid in this goal.  Without great teachers, most students will become either strategic learners (learning to pass a specific teacher’s tests) or bulimic learners (learning to memorize facts for an exam, only to purge the information later).  But, students learn these strategies because “grades” matter and because teachers fail to use assessment methods that encourage students to become deep learners.

I know others share this view.  So, I plan to share articles and links here on teaching: articles that address these or similar concerns.  Here is my first installment, an extensive and excellent article on teaching that appeared in the NY Times today, March 7, 2010, called Building a Better Teacher.

The Importance of Creativity in Education. When our kids were very young, we enrolled them in a Waldorf Kindergarten because the philosophy emphasized imaginative play, rather than academics at this young age.  I’ve always believed that children need more opportunities to imagine and create . Imagination and creativity allow us to invent, solve problems, and see the possibilities.  The TED conference in 2006 hosted an educator and creativity expert who spoke about the importance of creativity in education.  It’s worth the time to watch (about 19 minutes). He’s funny, too.

Ken Robinson challenging schools to cultivate creativity.

  1. We share similar convictions. I only wish law makers understood this. I have read books by Dr. Raymond S. Moore, and also read books about Charlotte Mason. They helped me find the courage to think outside of the box.

    • I’ve not read anything by either of those authors, but now I’ll have to look into them! My kids ended up attending a small K-8 from second to eighth grade. The school was based on Howard Gardner’s theory of education and also focused on a philosophy based on integrated education. No grades were ever given. Rather, students did their own self-assessments and the teachers provided written (multi-page) assessments that focused on proficiencies. My kids still love to learn in an engaged environment.

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