Consider that the best kind of teaching takes its cue from an understanding of students as active learners, then such a classroom would have students making decisions, evaluating and reinterpreting their knowledge.(Geocaris & Ross, 1999) The results of this kind of activity would stem from an environment that utilized higher order thinking skills. However in the wake of the call for higher standards, Kohn (1999) concludes that teaching has been minimized to the kind of instruction that produces "robotic calculations" from learners. An analysis of the task to raise test scores and standards in education has come to reveal little more than drilling students to ace exams. Teachers are teaching the tests, not the concepts of the curriculum. This does not help students become more creative, critical, and curious learners (Kohn). This paradox is not appreciated by those who make or report on education policy because they are satisfied with the appearance of learning.
Schools are charged with responsibility of teaching children how to think (Rodd, 1999) and school teachers have an obligation to know how to enhance their students' cognitive development (Ebbeck, 1996). Not focusing on raising test scores and not treating students like passive receptacles for knowledge empowers the teacher to create an atmosphere for learning and to develop young minds' creative and critical thinking skills. Learning by doing has been a theme that many educators have stressed since John Dewey's convincing argument that children must be engaged in an active quest for knowledge and new ideas.
I could go on...but I might ramble...
---- Original Message -----
From: E Jane Beckwith
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2000 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: RE: "imagine" or "fantasize"
L - how do you think we discourage them from thinking? Concrete examples... How
does this relate to education policymakers call for students to do more
reflection and to develop higher order thinking skills? What have been your
experiences re art ed. Thanks J
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