it becomes tempting to resort to drill-and-kill teaching methods that cover information in a generic, surface-level way
teenagers are interested in almost anything taught well and with passion
I'm continually amazed how teaching an applicable skill piques students' curiosity and prompts them to do more research. Last year, my students wondered about the claims that wealthy Americans pay more taxes than the rest of us. So they graphed the tax tables, fit functions to them, and reverse-engineered the equations the IRS uses to figure taxable income and tax rates.
They not only have a deeper understanding of math, they can also explain how taxation affects populations and their political choices.
test-driven push to quickly cover the state-mandated curriculum is growing. As a result, in too many classrooms students feign interest and are afraid to make mistakes
"To the extent that I've ever been creative, it has usually been because I've had to deal with difficult situations"
"I believe that it is our job, as educators, to provide students with an environment where they are allowed to be creative and take risks without fearing the penalties of failure. I do, however, question our ability to assess whether something is creative or not and whether our assessment should count for anything when it comes to student learning. This isn’t to say we can’t observe student creativity and commend them on what we deem creative (or should we?), but it doesn’t seem logical to me that we should ever allow for creativity to count for, or against, a student grade. For all of you who think that making “creativity” a component of assessment in a student grade spurs creativity I am about to convince you otherwise."
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