Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Beware the straight A student

An interesting article. http://www.bethknittle.net/WP_Blog/ Beth (a Middle School science teacher and now a K-12 Technology Intergration specialist)discusses an article by Doug Johnson "Beware the straight-A student".
Are straight A students great learners or just great at learning how to play the system. "It seems that if you are organized, follow directions and stick to the script you do well.  But if you are distracted by other interests, question what is asked of you, and seek to try things differently you are non-compliant and a failure at school". Beth Knittle. This raises the question are we really teaching our students "how to learn"? Example - I have had to teach my Year 9 English students how to write a persuasive text in term 1 this year in preparation for NAPLAN this term. We completed 3 or 4 persuasive texts one of which was around the issue of uniforms in schools. The students had a lot of opinions on this topic and it generated a lot of discussion. I had to stifle this discussion (I think my comment was along the lines of "well you could take that to SRC ..... now how do we construct a paragraph using the arguements we have generated?") and refocused students on producing the piece of writing. As teachers I suspect we do this a lot, particularly as they get older. If students are continuously stifled and not allowed to discuss, indepth, the issues that interest them then at some point they will lose the will to discuss anything indepth at all in a classroom.

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