Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Slice Six - What does the future hold?

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are challenging ourselves to write a Slice A Day.

My slice today is more of a reflection on teaching. On conversations I’ve had over the past month. On education in general. I’m done with hearing how we are “dumbing down” education. How it was harder ten, twenty, thirty years ago. What I think is that we are in a different world than we were then. The kids that will find success will not find it because they have facts memorized, they will find success because they have an innate desire to learn. They are curious. They seek out information.

What do our kids need to know today? This might be one idea:

And I think by letting them dream, the possibilities are limitless. They can create fun devices like Google Glass:

Or find a way to detect cancer for three cents a test. And they might figure out how to create that test when they are only fifteen years old. (Article here.)  

How do we get kids to be curious? To make them want to learn more on their own? I think we model it. When we are having any lessons in class, I am apt to get exited about a topic and we immediately go and research together to find out more. I love to tell kids I don’t know the answer and have them quickly try to find out who can teach me. And, I think this is no surprise, I think students that have read widely of books of their own choosing will have an advantage here. They can have a wide variety of interest, a huge knowledge base, and be self-motivated learners.

It is a different world than it was when we grew up. We can move with it and teach our students to be successful in it, or we can bemoan change. I’m choosing to embrace it.