13 Minutes

WHOA!  Wow.

Do you have 13 minutes?  You’re going to want to watch this video.

and, Dr. Sugata Mitra is my new rock star 🙂

The arts in our schools are crucial to the transformation of education (in part, because the arts & technology go hand in hand!).  What did you think of the message in this video?  How do you think we can transform education for the better? 

4 thoughts on “13 Minutes”

  1. Kristen,
    OMG – YES…..truly worth 13 minutes of my time. Boris & Jacob and I were just discussing (arguing) last night about the value/waste of learning information that one may never use…i,e. algebra….or being forced to memorize 44 presidents….or the monotonous repetition of TBEARS. As Boris put it; the time he is spending in his math class this year is the most torturous, mind numbing, boring 60 minutes of his 13 yr old life. He hates it. And he excels at math, he’s in the advanced class. And he absolutely hates it. Is it the teacher’s delivery?, the outdated way the information is taught?, the lack of real-world application knowledge sharing?…Is it the fault of the powers that be in this regional school system? Who exactly is pushing for more advanced ways of teaching/learning?….Anyone? I am so conflicted these days about what kind of high school I want my boys to be in next year…..Dr. Sugata Mitra is correct and profound…our kids need to develop the ‘armor’ against doctrine…….WOW indeed. Where do we go from here?
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Dawn Oliveira
    Bristol, RI

  2. I’m so glad you both took the time to watch the video! Dawn, you (and your son) are asking good questions. Personally, I completely agree with you about the TBEARS, which were, in my opinion, designed to lead to higher scores on the standardized tests our children take, and NOT to help them learn to think more deeply and better express themselves. Too formulaic. Having to memorize the presidents in this day and age is just silly. That’s information that is at our fingertips; there’s no longer a need to clutter our minds with it. I disagree, though, about learning algebra – it is important to learn algebra. It’s a tool you can use to consider the ‘word problems’ of real life; however, I’m sure there’s much more that can be done to improve the way our children are learning algebra in school. Sometimes you can fault the teacher, but many times, especially in our district, the teacher’s hands are tied – curriculum comes from the administration. It’s worth investigating further – I don’t know who (if anyone) in our district is pushing for more innovative & creative ways of teaching (AND, just as important, I don’t know what their definition of ‘innovative’ and ‘creative’ is!). Perhaps we can use this video as a starting place for a series of conversations with our administrators (Melinda Thies and Mario Andrade, and also our building principals). As always, thanks for reading and thanks for commenting!

    1. You’re welcome Kristen, appreciate your input. I believe that public school curriculum has to have real world connections for kids today to engage with a teacher or a particular class. Even algebra, instead of being just problems to solve out of a textbook, needs a link to real life for 13 year olds to get excited about it…..otherwise it’s just another lesson in memorization. I really listened to Dr. Mitra – reading comprehension, information search via the internet and the ability of a child to ‘believe’, in himself, and in his goals. So important. I believe that teachers are this century’s unsung heros – my sister has been teaching middle school kids in Gloucester MA for 10+ years. I hear about the challenges all the time…scant budgets, un-involved parents..etc….No simple solutions. I welcome this conversation.
      Dawn Oliveira

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