I found this article from Education Week. I found this interesting in light of the fact that studies are starting to show that standardized testing in this country is causing students to lose the ability to think creatively. In my mind, this is why the Intel Teach program, where used, has been extremely successful-PBL.
While I tend to agree with the premise of the article, I would welcome opposing thoughts.
as interesting as I found the article, I really got lost in the comments afterwards. I've never seen such a collection of myopic, self-interested comments. The one HUGE word missing throughout was "learners". The arguments for and against national standards seemed more about who has the correct test than whether or not anyone was learning.. I heartily agree with you that PBL is a good way to break the mold and have students learn. Seems to me that we need to get back to that. One article I followed down a rabbit's hole was "You May have Missed..." at http://www.leftyparent.com/blog/2012/01/06/3263/. Well worth the time it takes to read.
Carol, great article. I especially like this quote from the book. "Our schools are, in a sense, factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life. The specification for manufacturing come from the demands of the twentieth-century civilization, and it is the business of the school to build its pupils to the specification laid down. This demands good tools, specialized machinery, continuous measurement of production to see if it is according to specifications, the elimination of waste in manufacture, and a large variety in the output". (Education and the Cult of Efficiency,pg 152, by Raymond Callahan)
Education today seems to "want or need" to force all learners into the same mold. And, yes, that's where the money is. I will never understand why "the powers that be" in education seem to run after "the latest and greatest" in education. We need to give our students permission to fail. When we fail, we learn what doesn't work and we try something else. Let kids be kids and give them the opportunity to explore and play. When that happens I believe that true learning will take place.
Just my two cents worth.
I must agree with your statements" Let kids be kids', this is a fundamental belief that hold close to my heart. We are not allowing children to be children and enjoy their youth. Today's students are pushed into gifted, pushed in athletics, and pushed by peers into social groupings. I really believe students need a time to follow their heart and have good ,old fashion fun. We all can learn from our mistakes, that has not changed for me.
I have taught long enough to remember periods when we were expected to adopt a business model for teaching. Ironically, in my math class I teach about business. One common thread that I find useful is that to run a successful business you need a goal and a plan. That's a smart duo for many of the things we do at school and in life.
To me the issue is what student achievement means. I have been and continue to be frustrated with the bottom line that standardized tests are THE MEASURE for student achievement. I have students who perform admirably on standardized tests but who are challenged by PBL, conducting experiments/analyzing data, design and improve projects, and the like. I have students who have difficulty with standardized tests but excel at PBL and hands-on, creative activities. I have students who excel in all of the aforementioned, and I have students who are challenged by all of the aforementioned. I think we need a new, legislated, definition of student achievement.