Yesterday, I noted that much of what we think and do around learning in schools defies common sense.
Today, I’m reminded that the kids know it too.
In Muscatine, Iowa, over 700 students are participating in a two-week summer program called College for Kids. They’re building things with Legos, messing around with oobleck goo, and using all sorts of tech to make robotic cars, and much more.
The program coordinators describe the need:
Students get ‘hands-on learning experiences they may not have time or resources to have during the regular school year…We fill in the gaps that a normal school year can’t do; it gives them a chance to be creative, use their imaginations, think outside the box.’
The goals are clear.
We want them to walk away with loving to learn more…they are learning, not just hands-on but technology, we have iPads, computers, projectors.”
Teachers love it.
Our teachers that come here, they also get the opportunity to teach a lot of things they don’t have a chance to and they love it.”
Kids love it.
We’re using fun kids toys with science, to make fun learning,” one student says. Others say “they liked having a chance to build projects on their own and follow the instructions themselves.”
But, the kids also get it.
It’s hands-on so you get to build it instead of just the teacher building it and you just answering a question,” one student said [Emphasis mine].
Common sense would say that if you’re doing something that kids love, that teachers love, that promotes wanting to learn more, and that accentuates the growing discontent with “regular” classroom learning, you might want to think about doing that stuff full-time instead of just for two weeks in the summer.
Think: “Our Curriculum Hour” instead of “Their Genius Hour.” Make the “genius” stuff the norm and carve out some time for the curriculum when necessary. Heck, they’ll get most of the curriculum through their genius anyway.
The worst part? Kids have to “score a 75 percent or above on the Iowa Assessment to qualify, or be recommended by teachers.”
Does that make any sense to you?
(Image credit: m-shipp22)