"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?"
-- Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog Assignment 10

"An Open Letter to Educators"
     I think in a way, we've all felt cheated out of our education. Some classes are boring, some aren't. It's the ones that aren't that we tend to cling to. We just battle through the boring ones. It's tough but then again, that's life. Sometimes we'll be given projects, chores, assignments, or whatever the case may be, and we just have to toughen up and do it. That doesn't mean though that we can't take a stand on trying to liven things up. That's definitely what Dan Brown did, he livened things up a bit.
     I agree with most of what Dan had to say. I completely agree with the fact that our schooling is interfering with our learning. Most teachers no longer encourage creativity. Like he said they give us facts, we give them back, and most of the time, we forget said facts. It's all a repetitive cycle. The more interesting you make something, the more likely is that the fact will be remembered. I think creativity should be encouraged at all ages, whether a child is 3 or 16. Even we as adults need to be encourage to be creative sometimes.
     I liked Dan's video. I love his radical idea of just quitting school. I don't think I could ever do that, so more power to him. I hope all works out with him, but no matter how much we hate the system, we have to conform sometimes in order to get a good job. Like Dan says if don't conform to the changing world, we'll get left behind. So sometimes we have to do the things we don't want to, which may mean sitting in a boring class from time to time.

"Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home"
      I really enjoyed this post! It was quite funny, and it definitely made a point. So many teachers, in my opinion, focus on tests. That may not have been the point of this, but it made me think. Standardized tests rub me the wrong way. Teachers will spend all year practicing for the graduation exams, the ACT, and other tests that make the school look good or bad. I can't stand that! In my opinion, we should focus less on getting them to pass a test, and more on what could help them pass the test. Let me explain. If we just teach kids and focus on a variety of things, they might retain something. When facts are shoved down their throats to pass one test, it doesn't accomplish anything. We get that "burp-back" education. That's not the kind of education I want my children to have.

"Two Questions That Can Change Your Life"
       I loved this video. Sometimes we don't think about the legacy that we're leaving behind. This video was a huge encouragement and it made me think more about my actions. We should all do something worthwhile, something for people to remember.
"She's learning today for one, to make a better tomorrow for many." --my sentence :)


  1. Great points Emily!

    I think teachers often focus on the test because that is what administrators demand. Administrators demand good test results because funding is often based on these results. This is one of the major issues that stands in the way of the evolutionary march of education. New reliable ways of demonstrating student performance must be identified and implemented. I personally would like to see more of a portfolio approach. This would involve samples of a students best work over a specified time period. I think this is a much better way to look at what a student can actually do but it would be difficult to implement. What do you think would be a better way than standardized testing? SS

  2. Thanks for your comment! I do agree with you that standardized testing is a way that many schools receive funding, and that isn't a bad thing. I don't disagree with that kind of testing all together, I just don't believe it should be the main focus. Students are taught to remember facts only until the test. Many of them then forget everything they've learned. In my opinion, we shouldn't just make what is on the test the only focus. I know that sometimes teachers will skip over a lesson that is important, just because it won't be on whatever standardized test they are preparing for. Schools just get so caught up in looking good, that they don't really focus on what the student is actually learning. It just defeats the purpose of teaching if you're only going to teach something that won't be retained. If you are studying for these tests, you've got to make the info memorable, not just shove facts at them. Make it fun!