It’s learning that matters… isn’t it?

This powerful presentation by high school students got me thinking…

My experience of school today differs greatly from that of the students in the video. Given that I work at a privileged school in a developed country, I’m wondering what other factors affect my perception of reality.

I teach at a primary school…

Teaching and learning looks very different than it does in middle and high schools. But does it have to? Consider this letter to a middle school teacher. Be inspired by innovations like Monika Hardy’s students redefining school.

I teach at a private school…

Our mission states that we promote excellence by means of inquiry and critical thinking and that we develop the student’s whole personality by offering a wide range of activities, inside and outside of the classroom.

I teach at a PYP school…

‘We aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’ (IBO mission).  Our beliefs about learning include inquiry as a stance and students taking responsibility for their own learning

I teach in Australia…

A friend in the US is constantly surprised by the things I share about education in Australia and insists that our education system is way ahead. This week we talked about ‘family life’ sessions (sexuality education) and outdoor ed school camps, for instance.

I think how lucky I am to work in a school where learning truly matters and every student’s potential and talents are valued.

But then I remember the recently created Australian My School site which publishes a comparison of school results based on national standardized tests. I think about the fact that we are now constantly being reminded that Naplan results matter… and I can’t help but wonder where we are headed…

(Thanks, Kirsten for posting the video at Cooperative Catalyst)


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4 thoughts on “It’s learning that matters… isn’t it?

  1. Edna,

    I read the letter to a middle school teacher and it is something that will stick with me forever. I feel like sometimes teachers do not stop and think about the transitions that the students are making. Just because the teacher knows the routine does not mean the students do. I love what the letter said about the students being people just like the teacher. Sometimes they are hungry or thirsty and sometimes they have to go to the bathroom not at break time. Students are people and do need to be treated with respect. I also agree with having creative projects and learning for the students. We can’t just rely teaching them by writing things down on paper. I am in college and I want more creative projects incorporated in my classes, I can’t even imagine how a child would feel. Students need to have fun while learning, it needs to be learning not “work”. Thank you for a great post!

    -Katlyn

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  2. Hello,
    I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your post. As I watched the Brave New Voices video I had chills running down my spine, although, I am not sure that I completely agree with everything that those students had to say. From what I could their point was that they felt that they were being restricted and could not fully express themselves. However, I feel that there is plenty of room to express your creativity in the US public school system. Although, there are rules and guidelines to follow to ensure order within a school, there are still after school programs to become involved with to further express your interest.

    As a future educator, I hope that my students do not feel so confined by rules to where they will not be able to maximize their learning experience. I hope to create a fun and interactive setting where student feedback is welcomed and valued.

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  3. My name is Angelica Scott and I am a student at the University of South Alabama . I loved the video and I thought it was very empowering and well done. I agree with what the young adults in that video are saying because I have felt the same things they have. I also read the letter to the middle school teacher. I think that the transition from elementary school to middle school is one of the biggest and hardest steps in a student’s life and I remember being scared. I think that when student leaves elementary school they loose the natural idea of self expression and it’s not necessarily their fault. I also remember worrying about having different teachers for different subjects and feeling like I was just suppose to be use to this kind of change in my schooling life. I think that teachers some times forget that change is scary and that it’s important to give students the time to adjust to change and help them.

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