Thursday, August 20, 2009

2nd Post in Improving Education

Four Hundred Sixteenth Post: 2nd Post in Improving Education (20090820)

This is the second musing of how to improve education without spending more money. This post has to deal with improving students attitude.

You may believe that teachers are not to blame for children’s attitudes. And to some extent that is very true. But it can also just become another excuse for a failing education system. Teachers are more than instructors they are also the leaders of the classroom.

Ok, so that is easy to blog about, how do we motivate students. The method is simple and that is to teach them the things that interest them.

In public schools students range from many different abilities. After a standard lecture they should be working at their own pace. But instead of letting a student be on chapter 30 while another is on chapter 3, the teacher should have bonus work to explore. Have the student pick a relevant that interests them. So if a student finishes a story in reading class, let them read a book that interests them say a Star Trek novel. That is just simple. The teacher can latter ask questions about the book and take interest in what their students are interested in.

The same applies to math class. Puzzle books are as cheap as $5. The teacher could set up a “puzzle palace” on a table in the back of the classroom. Then encourage students to work together. What better way to motivate students then to know when they finish their lessons they can play with puzzles with the other students.

On the podcast “This Week in Tech,” it is often mentioned how the company Google encourages its workers to work on “creative works”. That is they work on special projects that interests them. They have had great success with this. So why should school be any different? Instead of punishing kids for not working why not give them an incentive to work?


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