Thursday, February 4, 2010

Topic: Contemporary Students and Boring Schooling.

10-second review: Students’ engagement in popular ;media (texting and tweeting, etc.) and practices in schooling are growing farther and farther apart.

Title: “Thinking Like a Forensic Scientist: Learning with Academic and Everyday Texts.” B Guzzetti. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (November 2009), 192-203.

Summary/Quote: “Two of the most challenging issues facing teachers today are how to engage adolescents who are growing up in a digital age surrounded by popular culture media and how to relate school content concepts to real life. Teachers have reason to be concerned because secondary students report that what they learn in school is boring and has little relation to everyday life outside of classrooms. Adolescents complain that they are more interested in and learn more from their own explorations with the media and the Internet outside of school than they learn in their content classes.”

Comment: Sounds like the 1960s again. School is becoming irrelevant to the individual student and unrelated to the real world. One writer from the 60s referred to George Eliot’s “Silas Marner crap.” I don’t doubt that the problem is real. But then I think teachers have always faced the problem of demonstrating the relevance of their subject to the real world.

One activity might help to close the gap today. Whatever the topic you are teaching, be sure to find out what is happening on the Internet before teaching it, what is happening with that topic in today’s world. And students should always finish the unit by exploring the Internet to find out the topic’s application in today’s world.

Let’s take the topic of punctuation. You will find on Google a site dealing with National Punctuation Day, a punctuation checker, a blog that suggests leaving punctuation out of your Twitter profile—punctuation marks take up too many characters. A hilarious video demonstrates what happens when you leave punctuation out of your communication. And that’s only a beginning. RayS.

No comments:

Post a Comment