As I am sure we have all heard before, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” often times ends up being very true. This week I got assigned to read an article called, 9 Elephants in the (Class)Room That Should “Unsettle” Us. Interesting title to say the least, but I really had no idea what to expect because we were relating elephants to a classroom?? As I began reading this article I instantly was reeled in to wanting to read more. Once I began reading the title finally made sense and the whole story is the truth of what really happens at schools.
Will Richard, the author of the article, made nine very valid points that related to the topic of what information children are actually retaining from the curriculum. Are students just learning the material for the test then forgetting it? I would say a lot of times that is the truth. There were two points in particular that stood out to me. The first one was actually the first point he brought up, “We know that most of our students will forget most of the content that they “learn” in school.” Isn’t that the honest hurtful truth. Just from personal experience I know I have forgotten so much information that I have learned in school just because the content didn’t interest me or the teacher acted like they didn’t care. It’s sad that people spend at least 12 years in school and yet not everything they are taught is even retained. If teacher’s would focus more on making their curriculum based on their students interest I think more children would look forward to school and they would also remember the information after being assessed on it.
The second point I found very interesting was, “We know that separating learning into discrete subjects and time blocks is not the best way to prepare out kids for the real world.” Isn’t the main purpose of school to prepare us for the real world?? Yet the biggest part of the school system is the time schedule. I had never really thought about this before but it makes perfect sense. I think in order for us to see the scores go up we need to make the classrooms more like the real world. Teach towards students interests. Make the environment exciting. Teach life lessons. In today’s world we are too set and stone, we need to be willing to change in order to see change.
Personally I would much rather know my students are retaining the information so they can actually use it in the future rather then see the high test scores. High test scores do not always mean that the students truly know the material. Has the school system ever heard of luck or guessing?? Pretty easy to do if it’s not an essay question. I hope that more people read this article and someday, sooner than later, we start to see a change in the way children learn.
Richardson, W. (2016, April 09). 9 Elephants in the (Class)Room That Should. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://medium.com/modern-learning/9-elephants-in-the-class-room-that-should-unsettle-us-8335b2cef9aa