Having dutifully followed the class rules, I refused to attend detention hall, requiring my father--retired paratrooper instructor from the Army, Korean veteran--visit and discuss my failure to obey the supply sergeant who taught the class, who shared ruefully how he sold sheets. What irony.
Today, though, I challenge my children's teachers to nurture creativity, inquisitiveness--the opposite of indifference--in them, and I hope they will find a road ahead, marching to a beat of their own. I do not seek for them a life conformity, of mediocrity, but one of uniqueness, sparkling with innovation of their own design, collaboratively concocted with a global team of learners. And, the contradiction in me, is that I want them to do well in college, to play survivor as their old dad did.
That's why I fear I would be one of the protesters Westfield High School in Fairfax County....
What did surprise some Westfield students and their parents was a sheet titled "Expectations of Integrity" included in the materials handed out by the three AP World History teachers. Their No. 1 rule discouraged random outbreaks of curiosity:
"You are only allowed to use your OWN knowledge, your OWN class notes, class handouts, your OWN class homework, or The Earth and Its Peoples textbook to complete assignments and assessments UNLESS specifically informed otherwise by your instructor....
"You may not discuss/mention/chat/hand signal/smoke signal/Facebook/IM/text/email to a complete stranger ANY answers/ideas/questions/thoughts/opinions/hints/instructions." The words were playful, but the teachers were serious. Any violations, they said, would mean a zero on the assignment and an honor code referral.
Consider Dean Shareski's keynote at K-12 Online Conference 2010, and the moral obligation we have to share ideas. It seems only appropriate to end this blog post with the prophetic words of Mark Pesce...
"Sharing is the threat. Not just a threat. It is the whole of the thing...This act of sharing voids "any pretensions to control, or limitation, or the exercise of power".Acts of sharing that void any pretensions to control, to limit. When I remember how I learned that I was creative, I remember that it didn't happen as I sat practicing my handwriting at a wood desk, surrounded by a class of superfluous scribes. I remember my creativity as a bubbling spring, welling up inside me as I played with words, built forts outside, tried to capture iguanas on the Panama beaches of my youth, built rubber-band guns from a narrow, flat piece of wood, a nail, clothespin and collaborative ingenuity of the boys I grew up with.
Blindfold - http://www.survivors-mad-dog.org.uk/a-world-away/Graphics/Alas_03.jpg
Big6 - http://teachers.saschina.org/stoa/files/2010/04/Big-6-bookmark.jpg
Bookmark this on Delicious
Subscribe to Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure