The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The ever compelling Hip Teacher's staunch (and necessary) message of commitment, 'I've Had It With My Fourth Period Class, has prompted some great comments about the nature of school itself.
The idealist in me loves to worry about what we actually ask of pupils in the quest to have them sit silent and ready to receive the great course of wisdom flowing from our never ever everboring mouths...
"Maybe its time for teachers to say 'no' to an educational system that isn't set up for learning? How can we expect any given group of teenagers to 'behave', to 'sit in their chairs', to follow rules, when clearly it is not what they want to be doing? What would they rather be doing? Playing sports or video games? Learning how to make their own movies? Doing nothing? What can we do as educators to change this archaic system of education that is in great conflict with the instrinsic factors of motivation in young minds? Why should they be forcefully isolated from what truly interests them?"

Aaron Campbell

"Guess, what? Teachers do it, too! Grading papers, talking, passing notes, going to the bathroom--all instead of listening and following along. It's just a human thing--we resist doing what we haven't CHOSEN to do. [...] We have to live with the fact that a lot of teaching is moving groups of human beings from one activity to another, often without their consent."

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