Sunday, June 24, 2012

To Pass of Not to Pass?

To Pass or Not to Pass?  The End of the Year Dilemma
by Colette Marie Bennett
Education Week Teacher June 19, 2012

This is a story about an English teacher with a bright student who left assignments incomplete and did little classwork.  The student would lose materials and lost interest in editing or revising any of the work she did complete, although she demonstrated she was quite capable of writing at grade level.

While in class the student participated.  She often had insightful comments about the story they were covering  at the time, and she encouraged all students to participate in the discussion.

Her teacher said that she "cajoled, teased, chided, scolded, and threatened the student into completing work."  I don't find that to be a productive teaching method.

If find this teacher's philosophical/moral question - To Pass or Not To Pass - irrelevant.
If I were this teacher, the question I would ask myself is: How can I engage and reach this student?
What is this student's learning style?  Maybe she's bored with presenting her knowledge in written form.
What method of presentation would be of interest to and a challenge for her?  Creating a play?  Creating a movie?  Writing a song?

From this article it sounds as though this teacher is stuck in the same old method of teaching that's been failing our kids for a generation - everyone needs to conform and perform according to a predetermined, cookie-cutter model.

Hopefully this student can be recovered by another more insightful, thoughtful and innovative teacher.

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