Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shaking Up Education

The Huffington Post, in an article titled "Shaking Up America's Education System," here tells the story of Nikhil Goyal, a high school senior in a public school in New York, who has published a book titled. "One Size Does Not Fit All:  A Student's Assessment of School."  His main point is that students are all different, and schools need to work with students.  My favorite quote:  "Learning is messy. It is not cut and dry. It's about the learning and fostering the collaboration between teachers and students."   My comment:

Oh my.  Way to go, Mr. Goyal!!  I have been a high school English teacher for 35 years, and can attest that what he says about education is absolutely true.  Helping students develop a passion for learning, and then using that passion to help them develop more skills and knowledge is the only real way to teach.

Notice how big a part reading played in this young man’s education.  He was lucky enough to have parents who took him to the library every week while he was growing up. 

And I found it sad, but not surprising, that his great achievements have been largely ignored by his teachers and administrators.  It is very very hard for the education establishment to understand the importance of collaborating with students.  I found that giving my students responsibility for choosing much of their own reading and writing assignments resulted in their producing some really extraordinary work.

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