Saturday, April 09, 2011

Learning to Teach

So I'm reading this article in our local paper, which speaks thusly:
For city educators, Chicago Quest is an important foray into 21st century thinking. Students will learn from video game designers and computer experts how to design and build their own video games, produce custom websites, podcast, blog, record and edit short films and connect with technology in meaningful and productive ways.

In an era of rigid standardized testing, city leaders say Quest is a novel approach to get today's wired 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds prepared for the technology-driven, global job market that awaits them.
and then goes on ...
"The only way we're going to catch up with the rest of the world is to reinvent how teaching and learning occurs," said Chicago Public Schools interim chief Terry Mazany. "That's why this is so vital. It's going to be an innovation engine for the district, and I'll strongly encourage the next leadership to keep them close and learn from them."
And my first thought was "who do we need to catch up with, and what are they doing?"

It's a good bet they're not learning how to blog and podcast and edit short films.  Not in school, anyway.   Could it possibly be that we're "behind" because we think making school "fun" by teaching stuff like this instead of math, reading, writing, and science?

I think the "only" way we're going to catch up with "the rest of the world" (yes, I'm so sure we're waaay behind everybody) is to expect something out of our students.   Teach them that a lot of what is necessary in life isn't fun, but you have to do it anyway.

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