After visiting recently with my Superintendent, I stumbled upon the question that I believe is very relevant to anyone in education. Now let me start by saying I appreciate that everyone in education has studied pedagogy and has expertise in some area. I am not taking anything away from our experiences but I am posing the question if maybe we need to pay more attention to student experiences.
Lets start with technology. If every piece of tech equipment was field tested by students what would schools look like. Let them be the focus group. How would iPads be used? How about interactive boards? If students proposed ideas as to what they could use all the wonderful tools we have, could those great teachers than guide the content to better use the tech?
What about schedules? Would there be more play time? More social interaction. Amazingly enough a fair amount of students, and in particular our at-risk population, get limited to zero positive social interactions outside of school. So these students need more social time, what would they want in that schedule. Real life projects, learning skills what if they could build the schedule? Could all classes be personalized? Could they take chunks of a subject that lead them down the path of their choosing, like a choose your own ending book.
How would kids get there parents involved? It seems as students progress through school, parent involvement on a daily basis goes down exponentially. If students and parents wanted to learn about similar topics, are they welcome? Could the class be taught at a better time to accommodate them both? Do some parents have specific expertise that can add to the school adventure. What if school was and adventure and every year was a new chapter in Indiana Jones? Parents and students need to be engaged and maybe they can help build the new climate.
As I ponder this point I came across this YouTube video that highlights student expectations. What if everyday ended with and honest question, How could we improve? As the year ends lets think about asking all are students to tell us what their dream school might look like. I am excited to hear my students answers as well as yours...