Monday, January 25, 2010

the right level of difficulty

I often ask my students about how the project we are working on fits the level of difficulty required for their growth. I ask, "Is this too hard for anyone? Is it too easy?" And while I can usually answer those questions on my own by observing their progress in woodshop, it is important that they reflect on the questions themselves. In my close of class conversation with the 4th grade class today, they told me that they like difficult, challenging projects. They told me that they also like things that they can be successful doing. So I asked what the teacher's job in all that might be. "To present challenges that are at the right level for them to succeed and grow," they agreed. And they also want things to be fun and that they can work on projects that interest them. If things are too easy, they are boring.

The photos above are of 4th, 5th and 6th grade book binding.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doug:

There you go making them think! Don't you know that kind of dangerous? ;-}

Mario

B the II said...

the psychologist of flow Mihalyi Cs . . . said that 'flow' happens between too hard and too easy, and it is sustained when the challenges are progressively harder (well, a little beyond current level of mastery)