Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wounded by School
As a former public school teacher and a current homeschooling mom, I was very interested in reading this book. I think the author makes good arguments for changing the way our schools educate our youth but first universities need to alter the way future teachers are prepared.
Reading Wounded by School has prompted me to make some changes in our homeschool. I have asked my children what they want to learn this coming school year. I discovered my eldest son would rather study US Government than a 3rd year of Spanish; I am letting him follow his interests. My youngest daughter wants to paint - so I'm looking for curriculum that will guide her interest since I have no artistic talent.
My eldest daughter (who is heading to college in less than a month to study to be an elementary teacher) grabbed this book from my to-be-read basket and loved it; I have been requested to not get rid of this one so it will be going to Mississippi University for Women with her next month. I have a feeling it will be passed among her college classmates.
About The Book
This controversial new book says that the way we educate millions of American children alienates students from a fundamental pleasure in learning, and that pleasure in learning is essential to real engagement, creativity, intellectual entrepreneurship, and a well lived life.
Based on almost a decade of intensive autobiographical interviews with over 100 "ordinary" students, teachers, and parents, Wounded By School describes some of the dilemmas of those in school now. Students talk about intensive boredom and daily disengagement, while knowing that school "matters" more than ever. Students and teachers describe a grinding lack of meaning in their work, combined with intensive labeling, tracking and shrink-wrapping of learners based on cursory tests and poor understanding of many kinds of minds.
Wounded By School identifies seven kinds of common school wounds, and tells the stories of those who have experienced them...
•Wounds of Creativity
•Wounds of Compliance
•Wounds of Rebelliousness
•Wounds That Numb
•Wounds of Underestimation
•Wounds of Perfectionism
•Wounds of the Average
These stories show that while reformers and policymakers tinker with accountability plans and annual yearly progress measures, millions of learners are intellectually and spiritually checking out--and gifted teachers depart the field by thousands--due to inhospitable conditions for learning and teaching.
In addition to exploring seven types of common school wounds, Wounded By School also portrays a few individuals who have healed their learning lives and reclaimed their intellectual territory and self-possession. These stories of healing show that those who have been lacerated must be much more vocal and active in pressuring our educational system for change.
Fundamentally hopeful, Wounded By School finds much energy for reform, and an alignment with the larger business community that says American schools are not producing the kinds of attributes most needed in young adults and future employees.
An old-fashioned, outmoded institution, the American schoolhouse and concepts of learning and teaching were designed for an earlier time. These ideas no longer serve us well. This is a critical moment for individuals to band together to create change and reclaim our learning lives.
Go here to read an article written by the author.