Thursday, April 7, 2011

Real student-centered learning.

As teachers and future teachers we often think of ourselves as "professionals" who are owed some position of authority in a school system. We line ourselves up in rows in college classes to be imputed with information, skill sets, and best practices to convey content to the next generation. And at the alleged end of this school process, we end up working in a system that we love and hate.

We love working with children or young adults and inviting them to explore new things. We hate some of the ways that the bureaucracy makes us do. We love connecting with students who are, after all, people with imaginations and stories and desires and purposes of their own. We hate that we have to compartmentalize them and examine them with some dehumanizing psychometric tools. Well, some of us do.

And we wonder, "Who is this education for?" There's a lot of talk about student-centered teaching and schooling. But it looks like an awful lot of that is so much talk and not so much action. The curriculum doesn't budge. The goals are still the same. Teachers want to center their practice on students but are tied into a command and control system that regulates them and their students so much that they are a molding device for an industrial factory school for someone else: the federal or state government, businesses, corporations, or some other entity. Too often anything and anyone but the child themselves.

So what happens when students really do it themselves with the guidance of adults? Do you ever wonder how people can be students without the stricture of school?

Here seems to be one answer.

North Star Slice No. 1 from North Star on Vimeo.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. The best experience that I ever had was going to college