Saturday, February 10, 2007

Once Upon A Time The Animals Had A School

Via Karen Janowski.

Animal School is a very interesting perspective on parenting - and teaching. The movie is about 5 minutes and definitely worth watching. Sometimes I just wonder about the whole structure of school as we know it . . .

Toward the end of the movie were a couple of sentences that resonated with me (you can read the entire text). My substitutions are in brackets:
Your child [student] did not come with a direction booklet.

Effective parents [teachers] are always learning, studying, and customizing the instructions for their individual child [classes, students].
I wonder how many kangaroos we are creating, how we can free the bees, and if maybe our schools are currently designed for sheep . . .

8 comments:

  1. I loved this video and think that a our new global and digital/technological world and old practices of education are truly colliding. I remember my mom telling my sister (who struggled in school because she often had a different way of getting the answer), "just do what you need to do and I'll help you to get through. When you graduate you can decide what you want to learn, be, and do in life." Looking back, my sister was the Kangaroo!

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  2. Wow...what a video. I couldn't help but thinking about past and present students of mine while I was reading about each animal, and we as teachers have had all kinds. While I was in college "differentiated instruction" was all the buzz (no pun intended!) and this video really hits home as to its importance.

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  3. For as long as I've been teaching (31 years)I've been instructed in the art of recognizing unique learning styles and multiple intelligences. But why does no one listen to educators' pleas that students learn at different rates and in different ways? Why must we continue to use standardized tests to measure students who are anything but standard?

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  4. In the 70’s GM produced the Monza. Because the co-designed engine never went into production, they had to drop in a traditional V8 (or I4) under the hood. If the engineers of this car had ever had to operate a socket wrench in an engine bay, they would have realized the only way to change the spark plugs was to drill an access hole in the wheel well or unbolt and raise the engine. Because most engineers have never had a tool in their hands, “small details” like these escape them. The same disconnect occurs between the engineers of most educational designs (legislators) and the end-users (students and teachers). Close the door and do good things.

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  5. JRM..powerful example that completely illustrates constructivism. Thanks for sharing.

    At some point, though, I wonder how we can differentiate learning when we have class sized beyond 30? How can I help 1 student when there are at least 15 others that need very different instructions and examples?

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  6. I know that there are many different learners in my classroom and there are people in this world who do not think mathematically. One of the issues is that every students has required classes in high school and a certain level of math that they must achieve in order to get into college. Not to mention all the standardized tests that these kids must take every year. How does a multiple choice test show the unique talents of a student? At what point is the child mature enough to make their own decision on following in the direction of their talents. It used to be in college when you decided on a major, but is it getting earlier that a child can or needs to make that decision?

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  7. What intrigues and frustrates me is how good high school students are at disguising their unique traits and blending in with the rest of the row. It takes work to bring out the individuality in so many students; it takes incredible time and effort to figure out whether they're "sheep" or "eagles" or "fish." One of my favorite parts of teaching is deciphering the little puzzles in my classroom, but as I watch my class size grow a little each year, this task becomes more and more daunting.

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  8. Did you notice that it doesn't appear to be available any more - except to purchase? Interesting, eh?

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