USA Today is reporting on a new comprehensive study of elementary school classrooms that is being published in this week’s Science magazine. Aside from not being overly engaged, the study of over 2,500 classrooms showed that “The typical child in the USA stands only a one-in-14 chance of having a consistently rich, supportive elementary school experience.”
Did I mention I have two kids in elementary school? Did I mention I already knew this?
More engaging are some of the nearly 100 comments that the article has garnered due to the new USA Today bloggy style. I didn’t read them all, but I found this one especially charming:
Perhaps the problem is the fact that the formerly drugged up hippies of the 60/70s is the gerneration that are control of not only the government, but also run the colleges, universities and news outlets. These are also the same peace and free love people who do these studies.
Well, there ya go.
And then we wonder why the kids who thrive on hands-on activities don’t do well in the classroom.
Yup, that’s me, former flower child and current teacher/librarian. Only, I never did drugs; I did participate in Peace Marches; I’m trying to educate children whose parents frequently let them run wild at home, then expect us to instill manners as well as knowledge at school. “Free love” in the sixties was nothing compared to the indiscriminate coupling that is the norm today – and the ones who suffer are the children,
Mrs. Durff says
So now we know the problems, what are the solutions? What should I, as an educator of your children (pretend for a moment) do right now. I mean today, this moment. What can I do right now where I am with what I have on hand?
So, who are the parents of these kids? Part of them care about their kids, but then you have the other two thirds that,
1. Think school is a baby sitting service.
2. That it’s the kids job to study, they shouldn’t have to help after their long day at work.
3. Don’t have the time because they have to work more than one job to pay the bills.
then you can see some of the comment come into focus.
That said, I work with a lot of great teachers, who are just now becoming the first school district in the United States to get ActivBoards in every classroom and Media Center in the district. I don’t see the kids sitting in the same seat anywhere near 91 percent of the time.
The kids do centers, and to a student, love the ActivBoards. They enjoy getting to use it during class, interacting with the other kids class, and the lesson. We are removing the TV VCR/DVD from the classes and using the ActivBoard as the center of the learning experience.
For anyone who doesn’t know what an ActivBoard is, well it’s a laptop, DVD/VCR, the internet, a PowerPoint, Flipchart lessons, games, the TV and more all wrapped into one. I believe that it will enhance the learning experience.
Kobus van Wyk says
Is this not all the more reason why one should increase the use of ICT in the classroom. If the teachers can’t give our children a proper education, use the computer!
Scott Keatley says
This reminds me of a couple quotes, kids are always bad:
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint” (Hesiod, 8th century BC)
“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.” (Attributed to Socrates by Plato)
Alice Mercer says
The comment about hippie teachers could be predicted. What got me was this one from a teacher (who made another excellent point about districts, etc. setting curriculum):
“Regarding your findings that students spend the majority of their time listening and working alone…we did, and we turned out fine. Please remember that we take our tests alone; and, that especially in urban areas, working with an equally, educationally deprived classmate will not enrich the student.”
If we haven’t convinced our peers, how can convince the public?
William Bishop (Bill) says
Seat time is neither good nor evil it is what happens during the seat time that matters. Moreover, in some situations seat time is necessary. Off the cuff, I’d guess that at the High School level about a 70/30 mix would be about perfect. Nevertheless, I liked the post enough to blog about it yesterday…
Thanks for keeping us educators on our toes!
As a technology integrator, I find some teachers reluctant to engage students with technology (this is in New York State) because – “we have to prepare these kids for the paper and pencil tests” which kids start in third grade in New York and last until 12th grade.
Preparing for the standardized tests is on the forefront of the teacher’s minds – ALL YEAR LONG.
And how do kids take these tests? Alone and seated with old fashioned paper and pencil. So getting them in control and in their seats…helps?