MyRamblings, Kids by maria on 15 Mar 2011 - 01:55  

I've been thinking quite a bit about education lately. I read a wonderful editorial about some high school students that designed and ran their own education for a semester. These high school students did some amazing things. They were using techniques that are presented very well by Diana Laufenberg in her TED Talk. What it comes down to is giving students the opportunity to use their voice and to fail. We are living in a world where information is everywhere. We do not need teachers to give students information. We need teachers to help students to filter the information that is everywhere, to teach kids to think critically, and fuel kids curiosity. We need teachers to guide them so that they learn how to ask questions, how to figure out what went wrong, and to learn that, despite what they are taught by standardized tests, in life there is no one right answer. The 3 ways to teach that she advocates are:

  • experiential learning
  • student voice
  • embracing failure

I think she is on to something.

Something else that I have been thinking about is the importance of networking and social interactions in general in the grown up world. Seems like we should be trying to teach kids about the importance of learning how to interact productively with others, especially people that are different from themselves. Some of this is learned by team sports, but short of that, nothing really. Being social is so important at this age, it seems like there should be ways to harness their interest in it to help them become more effective at communication and team work. Social interactions as usually practiced by teenagers if pretty much the opposite of what you want to learn to be effective in the adult world. When you sit down at a table to solve a problem as a group, you just can't tell by looking who at the table may have some key bit of knowledge or insight to share. It is so important to understand and believe that if you want to solve a problem as a group. Giving everyone a voice and listening to what everyone has to say is so key to effective problem solving. And knowing when to shut up. More teenagers need to learn that one. Probably more adults as well. Okay, I'll shut up now. But first, a gratuitous picture of my daughter, since this blog post seems to be lacking a visual.

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