I was fortunate to be able to see Chris Lehman speak at the ISTE 2010 in Denver last summer. He is the principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Via Twitter I found his talk on TEDxPhilly – Education is broken. See clip below. It is all about giving the students the chance to find their passion and to be inspired. Most teachers want to do right by kids and they want to share their passion. Why then are we still teaching for tests and why is it so difficult to answer the question why do we need to learn this? Why are you in this class if you don’t need it? You might also want to read his open letter to Natalie Monroe, I have included his last paragraph that I really like here:
“You must teach because you want to help students achieve their dreams. You must teach because you care almost as much about the children in your class as you do about your own children. And you must approach the job with the humility to know that what you are trying to do – to help children grow up wisely and well in an ever-more-complex world – will tax you to the limits of your being. It should – it will – demand the best of you.”
Application in class:
- Listen to this talk and take notes – discuss in class, how does this compare with how teachers teach and students learn in your school.
- Watch this short presentation from Lindsay High School. The school’s goal is to empower the kids to take control of their education and to help them get ahead.
- Compare the visions these two schools have and discuss what you can do in your own school.