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Children's role in their education - Page 2

post #21 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



 

Well actually this is not at all what I am talking about although it sounds pretty awesome.  I am more speaking of kids who have very different political/world views being thrown together and being forced to work together.  I think this experience is much different than having family discussions about the "issues".  This is the same reason I am hugely opposed to tracking in classrooms, because academic achievement tends to break down on socioeconomic lines, and in areas of California that means racial lines.  And what favors are you doing to anyone by separating students into homogeneous classrooms?
 

 

My daughters grade 7 class is pretty homogenous.  They are all white, mostly lower middle class, and usually come from families that are fairly conservative.  

 

Some people have great schools to choose from and some don't.  I agree we should not assume schools are straight out of the 40's - but that does not mean some aren't. 

 

As per streaming - I would like it if more streaming were done.  My DD  easily knows more than 75% of the curriculum (not primarily through HSing - she is bright and catches on quickly) and everything moves at such a slow pace. She would be served well by streaming.  Streaming may lead to lack of diversity in the classroom, but it works academically for some groups of kids.
 

 


Edited by purslaine - 4/30/11 at 12:45pm
post #22 of 76

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

My daughters grade 7 class is pretty homogenous.  They are all white, most lower middle calls, and usually come from families that are fairly conservative.  


Ditto here. My 12-year-old joined the public school Grade 5/6/7 class a week ago for their Arts Festival. All white. All lower middle class. A solidly middle-class white teacher. I know that there's a fair bit of political diversity in the views of the other kids' parents, but of course in school you don't hang out with other kids' parents: that's more a homeschooling thing. 

 

Miranda

post #23 of 76


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 


Ditto here. My 12-year-old joined the public school Grade 5/6/7 class a week ago for their Arts Festival. All white. All lower middle class. A solidly middle-class white teacher. I know that there's a fair bit of political diversity in the views of the other kids' parents, but of course in school you don't hang out with other kids' parents: that's more a homeschooling thing. 

 

Miranda


Hmmm...maybe it is because I am used to highschool, but the kids I have taught have had pretty diverse political views as well with no problem sharing them.  Which is cool IMO.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



My daughters grade 7 class is pretty homogenous.  They are all white, mostly lower middle class, and usually come from families that are fairly conservative.  

 

Some people have great schools to choose from and some don't.  I agree we should not assume schools are straight out of the 40's - but that does not mean some aren't. 

 

As per streaming - I would like it if more streaming were done.  My DD  easily knows more than 75% of the curriculum (not primarily through HSing - she is bright and catches on quickly) and everything moves at such a slow pace. She would be served well by streaming.  Streaming may lead to lack of diversity in the classroom, but it works academically for some groups of kids.
 

 


Tracking serves nobody well IMO.  Academically the best thing to do for smart kids is to make the curriculum self-driven so that kids can go as fast or slow as they choose (which actually more looks like a project becoming as complex or simple as one chooses).  The problem I have seen with tracking for gifted kids is that honors or AP classes are often dry and fact driven, so many gifted kids check out rather than becoming more engaged.  But that is a whole 'nother discussion.

 

post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


 


 

 




Tracking serves nobody well IMO.  Academically the best thing to do for smart kids is to make the curriculum self-driven so that kids can go as fast or slow as they choose (which actually more looks like a project becoming as complex or simple as one chooses).  The problem I have seen with tracking for gifted kids is that honors or AP classes are often dry and fact driven, so many gifted kids check out rather than becoming more engaged.  But that is a whole 'nother discussion.

 


I agree it is a whole other discussion.  I may start a topic one day on it on the learning at school forum to explore this a bit more.

 

post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


 


Hmmm...maybe it is because I am used to highschool, but the kids I have taught have had pretty diverse political views as well with no problem sharing them.  Which is cool IMO.

 

That is cool, but I had no idea what the political views of my classmates were, nor did I share mine. DS1 doesn't talk politics much, beyond "that guy's a fill-in-blank, and I don't trust him", and neither do his friends. It really depends on a lot of factors, ime.


Tracking serves nobody well IMO.  Academically the best thing to do for smart kids is to make the curriculum self-driven so that kids can go as fast or slow as they choose (which actually more looks like a project becoming as complex or simple as one chooses).  The problem I have seen with tracking for gifted kids is that honors or AP classes are often dry and fact driven, so many gifted kids check out rather than becoming more engaged.  But that is a whole 'nother discussion.

 

Hmm...I had self-driven math curriculum in grade seven, and it worked wonderfully. (Of course, it kind of sucked when I started grade eight, and had to redo half of what I'd done the previous year, because they didn't have self-driven curriculum.) But, I was also in honours math for the rest of high school, and it was awesome. I really, really wished we had honours classes in other subjects, but they weren't available. I became very checked out and disengaged. There were other things going on, too, but the curriculum was way too dry (non-honours), way too fact-driven (also non-honours), and way, way too basic and easy. Self-driven would have been the best, but I will admit I can't see how that would work, logistically, for a whole class. The self-driven math I had in grade seven was a case of streaming, as the teacher took four of us and put us on our own math curriculum, at our own pace, and we just worked independently of him, except for having work checked. He didn't do any teaching where we were concerned - not sure how he could have taught the kids who needed it, if they were all working on different things. It does sound good - just not sure how it would work, in terms of classroom logistics.



 

post #26 of 76

I've really enjoyed reading this thread so far.  I agree with others, it's too bad that's it's not posted elsewhere because I think you might get a wide-range of responses on an interesting topic.  Like the OP we don't live in the US and our public schools here are, well, ... scary.  The schools are very much your cookie cuter schools that teacher the very bare minimum to kids (I should mention homeschooling is actually illegal here too...).  However, privates schools come in every shape and size here and are affordable to even the lower middle class families so that's pretty much the route everyone I know takes (I honestly don't know a single family who sends their kids to public schools..).  We chose a Montessori school for DD because we're on board with child-led learning and feel that the teacher's role in learning should be facilitator not a dictator.  Personally, I've had such a mix of good and bad teachers at the public schools I went to  (and I ended up studying a subject that I had a particularly bad teacher in, in HS) that I can't say that percentage comes anywhere near 95%.  I actually LOVED a government class I had in high school while hating every second I had to spend with that teacher because I'm really fascinated with politics. 

 

 

As to the question if parents can be good teachers to their own children, I agree that there's definitely a difference between a classroom setting and home.  My mom was my art teacher for awhile and I hated it (basically for the same reasons a PP mentioned), but at home we certainly had a number of very meaningful/thoughtful discussions that I learned from.  It really was the difference in the social aspect/managing the classroom when I was in it for both of us. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



 

Well actually this is not at all what I am talking about although it sounds pretty awesome.  I am more speaking of kids who have very different political/world views being thrown together and being forced to work together.  I think this experience is much different than having family discussions about the "issues".  This is the same reason I am hugely opposed to tracking in classrooms, because academic achievement tends to break down on socioeconomic lines, and in areas of California that means racial lines.  And what favors are you doing to anyone by separating students into homogeneous classrooms?
 

I have to strongly disagree with this one.  I grew up in the midwest in an extremely conservative state (I think it might have voted democrat once in its history for the president??).  Pretty much ALL my classmates were white, Christian, republicans.  Ironically, I did actually have a very diverse group of friends but I have to contribute that to my mom more than anything else.  Every since I was a young child she purposely sought out friends at the playground for me who were diverse (by beliefs or ethnicity), she also practiced what she preached and somehow managed to have a number of non-white and/or non-Christian friends in a city where the vast, vast majority of people where white.  In that government class I referenced above I was the ONLY democrat and that would've happened whether I was in a public school or a private school or homeschooled there (my parents are Republicans).  Now, you can certainly find areas of the country where there is more diversity in public schools but I wouldn't take that for granted by any means. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

Tracking serves nobody well IMO.  Academically the best thing to do for smart kids is to make the curriculum self-driven so that kids can go as fast or slow as they choose (which actually more looks like a project becoming as complex or simple as one chooses).  The problem I have seen with tracking for gifted kids is that honors or AP classes are often dry and fact driven, so many gifted kids check out rather than becoming more engaged.  But that is a whole 'nother discussion.

 

 

Ok, I'm going to have to bite my tongue on this one... but I will say I had a number of honors/AP classes growing up and they were quite the opposite of what you describe here.  The normal English classes, for example, were entirely about grammar/spelling whereas my honor/AP English classes were entirely projects/essay writing and were very engaging.  Ok, I'll stop here otherwise I'll end up writing an essay and go entirely off-topic. winky.gif

 

post #27 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



 

Well actually this is not at all what I am talking about although it sounds pretty awesome.  I am more speaking of kids who have very different political/world views being thrown together and being forced to work together.  I think this experience is much different than having family discussions about the "issues".  This is the same reason I am hugely opposed to tracking in classrooms, because academic achievement tends to break down on socioeconomic lines, and in areas of California that means racial lines.  And what favors are you doing to anyone by separating students into homogeneous classrooms?
 

 



When my son was in public school and when I was myself, there was very little in the way of discussions about world views, politics, religion, other than an occasional academic reference etc.   As homeschoolers diversity in world views infuses almost everything we do. Two of my son's best friends are young earth, creationist, socially conservative evangelical Christians, whose parents protested for "maintaing traditional marriage". Helping my science minded/agnostic/Unitarian/passionate gay/human rights activist son navigate those relationships respectfully in the context of science co-ops/social justice volunteering/ debate club gives him more real world experience in sensitivity training and working things out with people who don't share his worldview than he would ever encounter in a month of Sundays in public school. 

 

We attend a UU congregation where my son serves on an adult committee setting up our services for the year. The committee included a woman who will be leaving shortly to train as a Buddhist nun, a Pagan, an athiest and a Jew, a "reformed" Mennonite, two lesbians, a young university student, a retired biologist and a Peace Corp worker who is home from Nepal for a year - and my 13 year old son. His participation is possible in part because we homeschool so he can make the meetings and have time in his life for this activity.

 

In the last week or two we have packed food boxes at a Christian based charity, helped a friend with her fundraising project for her favourite Muslim relief organization, demonstrated at a public meeting in protest of a mega quarry with all manner of people, and attended an all candidates debate for our federal election. Next week I am taking my oldest to help serve a meal at a shelter. We have had some of the most interesting and incredible conversations with people and within our family as a result of some of these activities. I highly doubt my son would have any of these opportunities to participate and really discuss the underlying philosophies behind these activities in a school situation.  Public school is not the only -- nor would I say it is the best - venue for kids to be exposed to and  figure out how to work together will people from all walks of life, all world views or political stripes.  

 

post #28 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post





When my son was in public school and when I was myself, there was very little in the way of discussions about world views, politics, religion, other than an occasional academic reference etc.  

 

Yikes!  Your school did you a disservice.  My favorite thing to do in class was to talk about these things.  Nothing you learn in highschool history is relevant if you can't tie it to what is going on in the world right now.

 

As homeschoolers diversity in world views infuses almost everything we do. Two of my son's best friends are young earth, creationist, socially conservative evangelical Christians, whose parents protested for "maintaing traditional marriage". Helping my science minded/agnostic/Unitarian/passionate gay/human rights activist son navigate those relationships respectfully in the context of science co-ops/social justice volunteering/ debate club gives him more real world experience in sensitivity training and working things out with people who don't share his worldview than he would ever encounter in a month of Sundays in public school. 

 

I disagree.  At the school where I taught groupwork was the way everything was accomplished, so students had to be constantly navigating relationships just to get the basic work done.

 

We attend a UU congregation where my son serves on an adult committee setting up our services for the year. The committee included a woman who will be leaving shortly to train as a Buddhist nun, a Pagan, an athiest and a Jew, a "reformed" Mennonite, two lesbians, a young university student, a retired biologist and a Peace Corp worker who is home from Nepal for a year - and my 13 year old son. His participation is possible in part because we homeschool so he can make the meetings and have time in his life for this activity.

 

Again, at the school where I taught the schedule was malleable to be able to include community based engagements.  Heck he may have even gotten credit for it.

 

In the last week or two we have packed food boxes at a Christian based charity, helped a friend with her fundraising project for her favourite Muslim relief organization, demonstrated at a public meeting in protest of a mega quarry with all manner of people, and attended an all candidates debate for our federal election. Next week I am taking my oldest to help serve a meal at a shelter. We have had some of the most interesting and incredible conversations with people and within our family as a result of some of these activities. I highly doubt my son would have any of these opportunities to participate and really discuss the underlying philosophies behind these activities in a school situation.  Public school is not the only -- nor would I say it is the best - venue for kids to be exposed to and  figure out how to work together will people from all walks of life, all world views or political stripes.

 

Lots of public schools have community service requirement.  Where I taught there was also an internship requirement.  We also had agreements with loads of community-based programs, people and groups who would volunteer their time and expertise so that kids were exposed to much more than we as teachers could ever show them alone.

 


It is certainly not the only place and as to if it is best or not I think that depends on context, family, student and available opportunities.  What I do not believe is that public school must grind out little automaton creatures that only know how to do what they are told.  Your kids sound like they have a vibrant homeschool environment though.  More power to you.

 

post #29 of 76
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
It is certainly not the only place and as to if it is best or not I think that depends on context, family, student and available opportunities.  What I do not believe is that public school must grind out little automaton creatures that only know how to do what they are told.  Your kids sound like they have a vibrant homeschool environment though.  More power to you.

 

 

Are there any folks here who had a public school experience like Chamomile Girl describes, with lots of discussions, diversity, and student participation? Especially in elementary school but also later on? Do your kids have this (I know, wrong forum :))?

 

It sounds pretty nice, but I certainly did not have that experience. Some subjects were run that way (depending on the teacher - which does not mean 95 percent of the learning process depended on them!) but most were not. Now, living in a different country, the public school system my kids would participate in belongs in the 1950s (which is when it was set up, after communists took control) and is more backward than the system I attended as a child.

 

What you describe sounds great, fun, and paints a picture of political correctness. Does that exist, where you teach? Great! Just where is that, so those of us who would like their kids to have a wonderful public school experience can move there?

post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

 

 

 

Are there any folks here who had a public school experience like Chamomile Girl describes, with lots of discussions, diversity, and student participation? Especially in elementary school but also later on? Do your kids have this (I know, wrong forum :))?

 

It sounds pretty nice, but I certainly did not have that experience. Some subjects were run that way (depending on the teacher - which does not mean 95 percent of the learning process depended on them!) but most were not. Now, living in a different country, the public school system my kids would participate in belongs in the 1950s (which is when it was set up, after communists took control) and is more backward than the system I attended as a child.

 

What you describe sounds great, fun, and paints a picture of political correctness. Does that exist, where you teach? Great! Just where is that, so those of us who would like their kids to have a wonderful public school experience can move there?


I agree, what Chamomile Girl describes really does sounds like an amazing public school and seems quite out of the ordinary.  My own public school experience included a mix of good and bad teachers so some classes were great and provided a nice open forum for discussions but others were awful where the teachers established themselves as dictators of their classrooms (or they had simply checked out long ago and could care less what students did).  In the region of the country I was in, it was certainly the best option if you compared publics to private (and considering my parents, homeschooling would've been a very poor option also) but it definitely doesn't sounds nearly as nice as what Chamomile Girl is describing.  I imagine that maybe larger cities could provide more progressive public schools with a larger pool for diversity but I wonder too how realistic that would be in smaller towns/cities with homogeneous populations? I've certainly heard of some amazing public schools/charters in larger cities that offer something beyond the "traditional" public school experience but those have always been in large cities where students/parents have more choices when it comes to their education

 

post #31 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

Are there any folks here who had a public school experience like Chamomile Girl describes, with lots of discussions, diversity, and student participation? Especially in elementary school but also later on? Do your kids have this (I know, wrong forum :))?

.

 

Not me and I attended 4 high schools in 2 countries.

 

We've recently moved to a new area and there is a really interesting highschool near us. The school has a group of students who are very into social justice activities.  Former neighbours of mine both teach here and before I moved, we got to talking about the school whether it would be a good fit for my son next in the next year or two and my other kids down the road. Their observation is that for the most part the school supports these kids whose passions developed outside of school and gives them a venue for connecting with other likeminded kids but that the school cannot "create" these sorts of passions in kids.  They believe kids who participate in these activities are well supported and "sensitized" for a lack of a better word at home.  Those kids who aren't tend to have a high school experience more like the one I remember.

 

My experience of groupwork in high school was did that stronger students ended up doing the majority of the work and that teachers offered little guidance or support for helping work through group dynamics.  I can't recall ever working through issues related to differences in political, religious, or worldviews. People not pulling their weight and contributing  - sure but those issues were due to a lack of engagement rather than because of different worldviews. The nature of academic work meant that science lab work focused on science - the history projects were more focused on factual discussions, and that there was "one right answer" even in the interpretation of literature or civics.   

 

It goes back to the OP - the idea that a teacher is responsible for 95% of what a child learns is ludicrous.  It negates almost everything we know about how learning really happens and the influence of every other person, activity and idea that comes from any source other than the teacher.   

 

I agree with what Miranda said above - that my kids are exposed to a far more broad base of ideas by really knowing and talking with the adults in their lives than they would be in school where their exposure is limited to a couple of teachers who may or may not share their own  personal viewpoints.

post #32 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

 

 

 

Are there any folks here who had a public school experience like Chamomile Girl describes, with lots of discussions, diversity, and student participation? Especially in elementary school but also later on? Do your kids have this (I know, wrong forum :))?

 

We had that a little bit in 6th and 7th grade science, and in 11th grade Social Studies (awesome teachers, both of them!). That was it. The rest of the time was force fed.

 

Now, admittedly, I graduated 25 years ago, so my experience probably isn't very relevant. But, ds1 reports pretty much the same thing. His 3rd grade teacher was amazing. His 4th & 5th grade teacher (same one) was okay, although she wasn't terribly effective. His other elementary teachers were very "I'm in charge here, and you'll do what you're told". Most of his high school teachers have been fairly top-down in style, as well. There have been some major exceptions - an amazing science teacher, an equally amazing socials teacher, and then a just unbelievably awesome English teacher last year, but the overall structure hasn't changed all that much since I went through. It's definitely more about teaching than about learning, overall.

 



 

post #33 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

Are there any folks here who had a public school experience like Chamomile Girl describes, with lots of discussions, diversity, and student participation? Especially in elementary school but also later on? Do your kids have this (I know, wrong forum :))?


Our K-12 public school has a fair bit of discussons and community involvement. Especially from about 5th through 9th grades due to the strongly held beliefs of the two teachers who work the most with these age-groups. Lots of participation in community works, involvement with the elderly, the outdoors, environmental and social justice initiatives. There is a new course in Social Justice at the high school level which is perhaps extending this to older age-groups.

 

However our local school is definitely an exception and well-known for its initiatives in this respect. There are often groups of people visiting to learn about what we're doing, whether from community colleges, or the Education faculty or student body at universities. I did not experience any of this sort of thing in my own schools growing up and it does seem to be rather unusual. 

 

And diversity ... well, they do make an effort, but the student body is pretty darned homogeneous. We currently have a family of Japanese environmental refugees living in our community, but legally they're not allowed to participate in school programming. So ... they're hanging out with the homeschoolers. smile.gif

 

Miranda

post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

 

 

 

Are there any folks here who had a public school experience like Chamomile Girl describes, with lots of discussions, diversity, and student participation? Especially in elementary school but also later on? Do your kids have this (I know, wrong forum :))?

 

It sounds pretty nice, but I certainly did not have that experience. Some subjects were run that way (depending on the teacher - which does not mean 95 percent of the learning process depended on them!) but most were not. Now, living in a different country, the public school system my kids would participate in belongs in the 1950s (which is when it was set up, after communists took control) and is more backward than the system I attended as a child.

 

What you describe sounds great, fun, and paints a picture of political correctness. Does that exist, where you teach? Great! Just where is that, so those of us who would like their kids to have a wonderful public school experience can move there?


Napa.  Sadly I don't teach there anymore as I had to move for DH's job, but I would go back in a hot moment.  Although the living in Napa part was kind of a drag...too small a town for me. 

 

But my point is that not all public schools are the same.  There is actually some really great options out there.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post




I agree, what Chamomile Girl describes really does sounds like an amazing public school and seems quite out of the ordinary.  My own public school experience included a mix of good and bad teachers so some classes were great and provided a nice open forum for discussions but others were awful where the teachers established themselves as dictators of their classrooms (or they had simply checked out long ago and could care less what students did).  In the region of the country I was in, it was certainly the best option if you compared publics to private (and considering my parents, homeschooling would've been a very poor option also) but it definitely doesn't sounds nearly as nice as what Chamomile Girl is describing.  I imagine that maybe larger cities could provide more progressive public schools with a larger pool for diversity but I wonder too how realistic that would be in smaller towns/cities with homogeneous populations? I've certainly heard of some amazing public schools/charters in larger cities that offer something beyond the "traditional" public school experience but those have always been in large cities where students/parents have more choices when it comes to their education

 


As I posted above this school is in a small town, and was started almost 15 years ago so it is not super-new.  It is a non-charter public school that was formed out of the local business community's desire to teach local kids skills they were looking for to hire in the future.  The district worked with the local community and with a bit of help from Bill and Melinda Gates an awesome school was born.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post



 

Not me and I attended 4 high schools in 2 countries.

 

Well heck, not me either.  My public school experience as a kid was as standard as they come. But things are changing.

 

We've recently moved to a new area and there is a really interesting highschool near us. The school has a group of students who are very into social justice activities.  Former neighbours of mine both teach here and before I moved, we got to talking about the school whether it would be a good fit for my son next in the next year or two and my other kids down the road. Their observation is that for the most part the school supports these kids whose passions developed outside of school and gives them a venue for connecting with other likeminded kids but that the school cannot "create" these sorts of passions in kids.  They believe kids who participate in these activities are well supported and "sensitized" for a lack of a better word at home.  Those kids who aren't tend to have a high school experience more like the one I remember.

 

My experience of groupwork in high school was did that stronger students ended up doing the majority of the work and that teachers offered little guidance or support for helping work through group dynamics.  I can't recall ever working through issues related to differences in political, religious, or worldviews. People not pulling their weight and contributing  - sure but those issues were due to a lack of engagement rather than because of different worldviews. The nature of academic work meant that science lab work focused on science - the history projects were more focused on factual discussions, and that there was "one right answer" even in the interpretation of literature or civics.   

 

One right answer crappus is to prepare kids for standardised tests.  But it does a huge disservice because that is not how the real world works. 

 

One way around having one student pull all the weight is to have groups be chosen by the students (in private so as to avoid hurt feelings).  If someone knows they were picked by a groupmember there is more buy in.

 

It goes back to the OP - the idea that a teacher is responsible for 95% of what a child learns is ludicrous.  It negates almost everything we know about how learning really happens and the influence of every other person, activity and idea that comes from any source other than the teacher.   

 

I agree with what Miranda said above - that my kids are exposed to a far more broad base of ideas by really knowing and talking with the adults in their lives than they would be in school where their exposure is limited to a couple of teachers who may or may not share their own  personal viewpoints.

 

I don't think that the two choices are binaries or mutually exclusive.



Hope that helps.

post #35 of 76

Groupwork...what if you've got the kid nobody wants? I hated group work - it was one of the two key things that switched me off school (and I never did switch back on), after loving it for my first half dozen or so years. If I'd known that the group was picked, and someone had picked me, I'd have assumed (correctly, in almost all cases) that they wanted me so that I could do the work. I was a known "brain" and most of my classmates didn't get along with me, so what other reason would there be, yk? I can't imagine buying in for something like that.

 

I don't know. This stuff sounds good in theory, but any group situation of the public school type is still going to leave a lot of oddballs twisting in the wind.

post #36 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Groupwork...what if you've got the kid nobody wants? I hated group work - it was one of the two key things that switched me off school 


Or what if you've got the kid who learns far better independently, through self-motivated and self-led exploration? Who can work very capably in groups in terms of supporting others, who in fact is planning a career in the collaborative performing arts and is incredibly competent at group collaboration in her chosen field, but finds that with academic learning it slows everything down to a tedious pace and makes her learning far less efficient and enjoyable? She's in school part-time and tolerates the group work (and her teachers think she's awesome at it), but her learning style and learning needs are not at all in sync with it, and so she finds it frustrating.

 

Miranda

post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post




Or what if you've got the kid who learns far better independently, through self-motivated and self-led exploration? Who can work very capably in groups in terms of supporting others, who in fact is planning a career in the collaborative performing arts and is incredibly competent at group collaboration in her chosen field, but finds that with academic learning it slows everything down to a tedious pace and makes her learning far less efficient and enjoyable? She's in school part-time and tolerates the group work (and her teachers think she's awesome at it), but her learning style and learning needs are not at all in sync with it, and so she finds it frustrating.

 

Miranda



I always gave the option for students to be able to complete the work independently.  Why not?  There is room for all types of learners.

post #38 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Groupwork...what if you've got the kid nobody wants? I hated group work - it was one of the two key things that switched me off school (and I never did switch back on), after loving it for my first half dozen or so years. If I'd known that the group was picked, and someone had picked me, I'd have assumed (correctly, in almost all cases) that they wanted me so that I could do the work. I was a known "brain" and most of my classmates didn't get along with me, so what other reason would there be, yk? I can't imagine buying in for something like that.

 

I always hated group work too as a kid (for the same reason), but I found that it is a very different situation in an environment where groupwork is the norm rather than something that was done for a day here and there.  In the case of my classroom the projects took about three weeks to complete and every member of a group was graded both independently and as a group member using very transparent rubrics that everyone got ahead of time.  Plus every member usually had very disparate responsibilities so it was clear who was pulling their weight and who was not way before the work was actually due.  Then it was my job as teacher/facilitator to try and figure out why a student was slacking and try to help them out of that hole.

 

Plus in the situation you outline you would have been a good candidate to be a person who chose a group.

 

But like all things in life it mostly worked well, but not for everyone all the time.

 

I don't know. This stuff sounds good in theory, but any group situation of the public school type is still going to leave a lot of oddballs twisting in the wind.


Yes, there is no system that works for everyone.  Not public school not homeschool.  In some cases not school period.

 

post #39 of 76

As a former public school teacher and as a semi-current/future homeschooling parent I believe that the case for "diversity" is really about learning to put up with people who are awful and rude and mean to you.  Because oh man is school a miserable experience.

post #40 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
I always gave the option for students to be able to complete the work independently.  Why not?  There is room for all types of learners.

 

But then this is hardly a case of "kids who have very different political/world views being thrown together and being forced to work together," which was your point concerning the value of school. Instead they're being "offered the option of working together" with others, which is exactly what my own kids get as homeschoolers.

 

Miranda

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