Some notable thoughts of Alfie Kohn’s
Constructivism is concerned with how learning occurs which informs teaching.
Giving children brick after brick [of knowledge] does not mean that they have a house; what they have in the end is a pile of bricks.
Grades lead to
- students choosing the easier task when they are given a choice of tasks
- students performing more superficial tasks
- less questioning for understanding and less making connections
We don’t need to fix kids but rather to fix the system so that we can keep the kids
Essential question: What does it mean to be well educated?
“Rethinking Rubrics”, Alfie Kohn
Linda McNiel (MET Schools)
I think that being well educated means being exposed to a range of opportunity from a variety of disciplines in a creative, exploratory, safe environment. It means having the ability to analyze, think, query, research to find answers to the challenges of the varied areas of life. I believe that people should be able to thrive individually and within the collective. To be well educated means to have the skills, knowledge, understanding, attitude and habits of minds to be able to meet our goals through individual effort and collaboration.
I had a conversation with a family member as to which of two independent schools is better. One school focuses on arithmetic and reading in the elementary program while the other school provides opportunities for elementary aged children to learn a second language and to participate in music and art experiences. I instinctively think that the latter model is a better educational system than the former. However, the whole concept of student-centered approaches leads me to concede there are children who will thrive best in each of the two systems.
As such, the process of becoming well educated may look different depending on the child, both logistically and structurally. The standard of being well educated will also vary from person to person, as surely the education required of a person depends on the role(s) that they want to inhabit during the various periods of their life.