11 comments
  1. John,
    This is the way it should be. We say that kids need to fail but where is there room for failure when the ticket has to be punched. We say kids need to explore but when and where does that fit in? I agree, conversations should be occurring but are not to be found.
    I have always felt kids needed time, life is long, let learning happen in its own due course.
    Thanks again for a great message.

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    1. Middle school is arguably the best place for this "safe failure" to happen. I think your post is timely and thoughtful and I wish more policymakers would read it!

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    2. Thanks. I agree with Mike here. There needs to be room for failure in middle school.

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  2. Yes. Age matters, as does maturity, both physical and mental. And of course, there are other factors, too. But you are very right. Thanks.

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    1. Age and maturity. Exactly. Both of them are vital.

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  3. I think even with the older kids (and adults) many of them are faking/aping an understanding/appreciation of the abstract, just enough to get a decent grade.

    The real problem is that there's no time to help everyone visualize the size of the sea because there are so many checkboxes of pointlessness lined up over the 12yrs. 90% of which will be forgotten within the following 5....

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    1. I know that I've faked my way through things before ;)

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  4. I taught older kids for a long time before I moved to 6th grade. Now I am teaching 6th grade and I confess I sometimes fail at scaffolding lessons into activities and concept that are approachable for my students. It's not that they aren't capable of deep critical and creative thinking. They just need me to walk them though the steps of it and provide a tighter framework than I am used to having to do.

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    1. Yes! That's what I mean. I'm having to walk them through more of it. They are more risk-averse than eighth graders.

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  5. I believe now the school system as a whole is only concerned with moving from lesson to lesson in order to get students to the next level and the student body as a whole is only concerned with memorizing the concepts in order to attain their letter grade. Personal maturity is not taken into consideration because it is not part of what teacher's are paid to assess and grade. I agree that these things should be taken into consideration. Interesting topic.

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