Saturday, February 9, 2013

Family Meetings

The Wall Street Journal has an article here describing a way families have borrowed a business technique call "agile."  The technique involves frequent meetings, usually weekly, in which issues are aired and everyone is encouraged to speak up about better ways of accomplishing things (like chores).  A number of families have found the technique to be very successful.  Many comments made fun of the technique, and suggested that family dinners were a better substitute:

 I'm surprised at the negative comments.  I think this is a wonderful idea.  I'd love to see it used in education--in the classroom.

I did a modified version of it in my high school English classes.  I asked my students, every couple of weeks, to write me a little note about what was working for them in the class, and what wasn't.  I then read the notes out loud to the class, and we discussed any issues.  Some were issues I couldn't do anything about--I had to grade their work and assign homework, after all--but just having issues out in the open made my students more compliant about things we couldn't change.  It changed the atmosphere of my classroom and made it more conducive to learning, of that I'm sure.

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