Awhile back I came across a Tedx Talk by Logan LaPlante and his educational experience. He goes through schooling in which he calls “hack school”. He learns what he is interested in, still focusing on the core subject and on his greatest goal in life… to be happy.
After watching this talk, I begin to think about my future. I am a childhood/special education major and am working toward being a reading specialist. Common Core Curriculum has recently been implemented into public school systems through out the U.S., changing the way teachers teach and how schools run. I have witnessed students struggle though this sudden change. Common Core is based on standardized tests to measure how students have improved throughout the year and how well teachers taught their students. I have seen this curriculum put immense amounts of stress on teachers and especially children. In todays society children are put under too much stress. There are 8 year old children loosing sleep over how well they will do on their ELA and math standardized test, instead of thinking about kid stuff, like what games they want to play tomorrow or if their friend will go on a bike ride with them. I believe common core is a good idea and has good motives. It is a step in the right direction for our education system, but it was implemented too quickly with little training to teachers. This has led teachers to teach to the test, so that their students can pass the tests and move onto the text grade. There are better ways to run education besides forcing testing on students. We have to remember kids are kids. During the early years of education, socialization is just as important as the content learned and this needs to be recognized. Children learn best through experience. Hands on learning can bring both socialization and content learning into a classroom. Students can work together to solve problems and create projects in order to learn the curriculum, as well as learn how to socialize with their peers.
One of Thoreau’s main points in the novel “Walden” is that learning through experience is more effective than traditional schooling. I aim to make my classroom as close to a hands on learning experience as possible for the most effective education. I am a strong believer in the importance of keeping creativity in the classroom and learning from hands on experience. Logan speaks about this in his talk, saying his happiness is most important to him and when he learns what he enjoys though experience, he is happy. I see my classroom as a place of creativity and a place of comfort for children. When you think back to your early years of school, you don’t remember what you learned, you remember the experiences you had. I want my students to look back on their life, and remember my classroom as being a comfortable place, where they had fun as they learned. I want my students to be excited about learning.