While this video is kind of fun, at the same time, it is sad and scary because it captures what we all know is happening to our children and our schools.
I always ask parents “what do you want your child to learn in school?” and they almost always say things like, “I want my child to learn how to think for himself”, or “ I want my child to learn to be kind and caring, “I want my child to be aware of what is happening in the world “, or “I want my child to learn that she can make a difference in the world.”
One of the Six Core Strategies for improving school climate and learning we share with schools is to encourage educators to “dare to go beyond the curriculum.” We urge school leaders and teachers to learn more about how they can use approaches like, Habits of Mind, 21st Century Skills, the creative arts, service learning, project based learning, multiple intelligences, advisory systems, and restorative justice to make learning and school “come alive” for students. The Common Core—if implemented well---can also offer additional impetus for moving beyond the traditional “sit and git” curriculum, and we hope it will.
Deciding what your school can do to teach beyond the test can make a huge difference in the level of student engagement, enthusiasm, rigor, and relevance of your programs. We have seen how spending instructional time in these ways not only does not hurt a schools’ test scores, but it can actually lead to significant academic improvement and more positive school climate. Embracing this Core Strategy can help restore what has been lost in so many schools and classrooms….energy, student enthusiasm, and deeper student learning!