I’ve been tipped-off to a great e-zine for teachers, by teachers, but of interest to anyone thoughtful about our young people’s education.
In the current issue Alfie Kohn asks the question: Are we all to enamored with teaching children self-discipline? Awe come on…read it before you make a judgment. Could it be we just want kids to take care of themselves so that we don’t have to be bothered? Does education that focuses too heavily on self-discipline train students to see studying as a means to an end rather than to help them enjoy learning. Secure, healthy people can be playful, flexible, open to new experiences and self-discovery, deriving satisfaction from the process rather than always focused on the product. An extremely self-disciplined student, by contrast, may see reading or problem-solving purely as a means to the end of a good test score or a high grade. I find this idea quite thought-provoking. What do you think?
Another article immediately grabbed my attention: Who Really Needs Four Years of Math and Science? by Steve A. Davidson. I started asking this question in about sophomore year of high school, when I decided: not me. And I’ve survived just fine thank you. I can’t help my kids with the algebra homework, but, hey, I read them lots of books when they were growing up. I’ve heard that counts for a lot. Check out what this guy says. He taught school for 32-years!