Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Good School for Anyone

The latest excerpt from my reading of the Power of Their Ideas:

A good school for anyone is a little like Kindergarten and a little like a good post-graduate program - the two ends of the educational spectrum, at which we understand that we cannot treat any two human beings identically, but must take into account their special interests and styles even as we hold all to high and rigorous standards. A good Oxford education is more like my Kindergarten classroom than it is like the typical American high school or public college.

I really like this comparison. It has constructivism at its core and high expectations as its flesh. We talked earlier this year that some of the best, most in-depth learning we did in graduate school - when grades weren't much of a factor anymore. And Kindergarten is about the last time in K-12 that grades - and test scores - didn't really matter. I'd like to think that we could make AHS more like both Kindergarten and grad school - where the learning is what matters most, and where we do our best to focus on the needs of each student, not on the needs of the "system" or the "curriculum." I feel a Fischrant coming on, so would somebody please try to explain why we can't make AHS more like Kindergarten/grad school, so that I have something to rant about?

1 comment:

  1. I think we're back to the conversation above regarding choice. We choose our classes in grad school; our students are required to take many of our classes. Their purpose for the learning in our class simply is to get the grade, or the credits to graduate.

    I think we are making baby steps putting education back in our students' hands, but we need to continually be asking: now what?