Monday, May 16, 2016

cranking out the good grades...

Children are challenged to maintain a particular grade point average in order to get into the colleges of their choice. The grade point average is an abstract measure of how they did in a smorgasbord of various subjects, and from high school through college students are challenged to maintain a high average. In fact, they can"flunk out" if they don't have one high enough GPA to meet standards. David Brooks wrote an editorial in the New York Times, Putting Grit in its Place, challenging our reliance on grade point average as a measure of student success.

In the editorial Brooks draws a direct line between individual student motivation, individual student determination and individual student success, and asks the following:
Suppose you were designing a school to help students find their own clear end... Say you were designing a school to elevate and intensify longings. Wouldn’t you want to provide examples of people who have intense longings? Wouldn’t you want to encourage students to be obsessive about worthy things? Wouldn’t you discuss which loves are higher than others and practices that habituate them toward those desires? Wouldn’t you be all about providing students with new subjects to love?
In such a school you might even de-emphasize the G.P.A. mentality, which puts a tether on passionate interests and substitutes other people’s longings for the student’s own.
Today in the CSS wood shop, some of my students will be turning bowls on the lathe. Some will be finishing their box guitars.I am ready to begin applying finish to my first ukulele.

One of the best ways to bring passion within the school walls is to bring in the arts. Teachers should be held accountable in their own lives for having passion for learning and for kids, and should be enlisted to bring those qualities within the school walls. Those with passion do not remain on the surface of things, but instead go deep. Artists are the ones who dive deep into things, whether its in music, culinary arts, graphic arts, or our many crafts.

Richard Bazeley in Australia sent the following article: Creative play: In praise of getting messy
And of course one of the best ways to get messy is through the arts.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the love of learning likewise.

No comments:

Post a Comment