Monday, September 27, 2010

Is Anybody Asking The Kids?

Since last week's two Oprah shows related to the "Waiting for Superman" movie, there has been a social media firestorm largely bashing teachers and methodologies. I'm not certain that everyone who is participating actually saw the show, but the conversation is definitely polarizing, and I'm thrilled that it's being talked about with such passion.

This is a conversation we NEED to be having. We can't, as Heidi Hayes Jacobs says in her Curriculum 21 book, continue to educate the kids who will graduate in 2025 with methods and curriculum designed for 1975!

Oprah called this the civil rights moment of our time. I think she's right.
Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, said, "Sedentary Agitation won't work. We can't sit on our couches and be mad about something. We have to get up and actually work towards solutions."

But there's where the problem is. We have so many folks talking about the problems and nobody talking about solutions. And nobody has mentioned what the kids think about all of this.

We continue to identify something that has already been identified but what we really need to be doing is figuring out creative ways to solve the problem. So I'd like to propose that we be innovative from the beginning.

Let's ask the kids.

If you are reading this, ask your students the following questions, either IN THIS GOOGLE SPREADSHEET or as a comment on this blog:

  1. What is working in education right now?
  2. If you could make only one change at school right now, what would you change?
  3. What else would you like to see change at school?
  4. How do you like to learn?
  5. Where, in general, do you go to school? City School, Suburban School, Regional School, Private School, Home School, or other type of school?
If we are really going to effect change, let's ask the stakeholders who matter the most: the kids.

After a week or so of collecting responses, I'll blog about the results.

We can do great things. We just have to stop arguing about it and get going with the changes and growth!


  1. Cool Mike...thanks for getting this conversation started. Responding to your blog fits in great with the lesson I'm doing in class this week (we're getting started with blogging). Plan on hearing from my kids tomorrow.

  2. Hope you got a good response to your blog. You may want to check out my last blog post:

    It's about how I'm getting my students into blogging, and I talked about how thier experience with your blog fit into the process.