Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Kids think about school

Interesting Washington Post one-off  (by psychologist Daniel Willingham) about why some students don't like school.  I thought this passage was interesting and it makes me wonder if this feels true to FSP students or not?

One in particular strikes me. Students get one, perhaps two, chances to feel academically successful in lower elementary school.

I say that because studies show that show most academic time is devoted to Language Arts: in first grade, about 67% and in third grade, 55 %.

So what happens to the student who is having a hard time learning to read? He spends most of the day working on something that is unpleasant, unrewarding, and at which he feels a failure.

1 comment:

Maya said...

Amen! The lack of science in elementary school was a downer to both my boys, because it meant all that science time was spent in LA (and an odd variety of conceptual math), where they were constantly told they were doing things wrong, needed to improve, were disruptive, didn't seem interested, unable to focus, needed to try harder, etc. with recess, band, and art (the things that made school bearable) taken away as punishment. You can see the spiral, right? Needless to say, it was often a struggle just to get them to go to school.

Literacy should not be taught in a vacuum, but rather in the context of interesting, engaging, real-world challenges. We find Friends to be much more balanced than what came before, yet there's still a lot of drive to acquire more LA time in the middle school.