Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saved Again

Whenever I am stuck for a blog topic (which, when you are trying to write one for each day of class, can happen often), I scroll through my twitter feeds or the blogs I follow and try to see if there is something written there that will spark my thoughts to get beyond my writer's block. I have a number of "go to" people for those thoughts, but by far my #1 source is Will Richardson and Weblogg-ed. His book "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms" now in its 2nd Edition, published by Corwin Press, was the first along the way of my introduction into the web 2.0 world and how it could make a difference with the students that I teach. His post yesterday morning about students and their thoughts on the current educational hoops that they are expected to jump through, once again, inspired me to post something here.

When did we lose the idea of education and learning simply for the love of education and learning? We all talk about wanting our students to be life-long learners and how important it is for us, teachers and parents, to be life-long learners as role models for our students, but how many of us actually work to make both of those things happen? Why would our students want to become life-long learners if what we are currently doing to them in schools is what we call "learning"? Why would they believe us, teachers and parents, when very few of us are willing to break out of the "tried and true" or "the safe"? Why would they believe us, teachers and parents, when we tell them about the importance of education for themselves, but then compare them to other schools and ultimately to the rest of the world?

If we want our students to love learning, we must demonstrate that for them and show them our love of learning. If we want our students to love learning, we need to challenge them with more than just rote memorization and how to take tests. If we want our students to love learning, we must get them to think about what learning means and how it can make them better people, not simply better test-takers. Education is not vocation. Education helps us to make things better, things in our world, our nation, our state, our towns, and our homes. But ultimately, education makes us better as individuals, which ultimately leads to making all of those things better.

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