Monday, March 4, 2013

Let's Talk!

One of the blogs I like to follow is Dangerously Irrelevant, written by Dr. Scott McLeod.  In a recent post, he says that the answers we seek lie within us.  More specifically, he thinks that teachers and staff hold the answers to some of the most pressing "how do we?" questions related to school reform.  Here is an excerpt:

"While I’ve been sharing resources and trying to spark some ‘urgency’ to move forward faster, much of the time I’ve been asking questions. Questions like:
  • How can we get more problem-based learning into our classrooms?
  • What are some ways that we can make students’ learning experiences more global?
  • In two minutes, can you come up with five ways that you could increase student voice online?
  • How could you put your students to work to make something that benefited others?"

I'm interested in what you have to say.  What other questions might you add?  How would you answer the ones above?  


  1. In response to most of the above questions I have often tried to take student input for at least one project during the year and let them direct WHAT they want to do and follow that with how can I shape it to be educational.

    One example would be using public policy change to discuss persuasion in writing. If we let the kids identify a change they would like to see on the school, local, state, or larger level it can serve as a context for discussing practical reading and writing. We have plenty of academic benchmarks that can be modified to fit "how will you achieve your practical goals for change".

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! Continuing in the direction of the questions of the post, what do your students do with the writing they do? Do they send it to those with the power to change things? The authentic audience coupled with the already authentic purpose would be a great next step to take with their writing.

      When I read your comment, I was also wondering how far this activity could be extended, while also teaching several other standards? What can we have students do to take their ideas further, trying to get them implemented in some way? In other words, how can they actually achieve those practical goals for change, rather than just writing about them?