Notebooks vs. Learning

October 7, 2007

I found this article from one of the blogs that I subscribe to and it got me wondering,  is society waking up to  educational errors? I know that this parent is probably just a rare exception but maybe she is pointing out a larger problem. Do schools and our educational system overall put following the procedures to get a grade over understanding of the material?

Teachers who teach this way lay out the expectations and then ask students to follow them and don’t care about learning. The parent in this blog is obviously versed in science, they write a blog about it, so they could tell that their child knew the concepts. But when the student is penalized for not organizing a notebook does that have anything to do with science? How does organizing a notebook teach us anything about a subject?

Does this example speak to a wider problem in society? I think so, because of the widespread usage of high stakes testing and money for college tied to GPA teachers often get focused on just the grades and throw out the learning aspect. Are teachers trained to teach the check a notebook way instead of in terms of meaning making? To some extent I think so since their jobs depend upon keeping the students in their seat and quiet the first few years until they get tenure an can begin exploring without fear of their jobs.

Hopefully technology and the communication it provides will allow teachers and education as a whole to transform to teach in a way that allows students to be learners forming new knowledge instead of just notebook keepers.

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