Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Each Student Needs Creativity, Time and the Basics

On Monday, December 4, 2006, I read a wonderful article by Dorothy Rich in the Miami Herald. In the article, she incorporates much of what I try to say in my blog. For example, she states “there are no magic answers for the many teachers and students in our many classrooms…I would like to have a magic bullet.” She points out that in every classroom there are individual students, each with different sets of genes, learning at different rates, and having different strengths.

Because of the state’s emphasis on testing, teachers are under such pressure that there is little time for creativity, for allowing students to derive joy from learning. Learners need hope and optimism but unfortunately in our educational environment their natural imaginations are often stifled.

In New York City, there is an area superintendent by the name of Kathleen M. Cashin, who is responsible for one of the roughest areas in the New York City School System. In her schools she reinforces the opportunity for students to utilize their creativity through group learning. She encourages students to write stories and discuss their ideas. She also encourages the teachers to take the time to get to know each student. Through her efforts the scores in Region 5 have been steadily increasing.

I call this blog “The student is the class”. I reiterate that we must allow time for students to learn the basic core (English and Math), allow them also to acquire the ability for self-learning through working in groups, and finally do written and verbal presentations where they can utilize their higher learning skills and interact with their peers. The teacher is like a conductor blending all three modes in a classroom setting, while the utilization of computers facilitates in the process.

References: Miami Herald Link

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