Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Johnny Can't Read or Write (Can He Think?)

Johnny (yes, the one who couldn’t read or write) has a look of horror on his face. He has been asked to complete a project in which he must define the task; must identify and organize his resources; must make connections; must draw conclusions and evaluate those conclusions. He has survived the many years of schooling, despite not being able to read or write, by dutifully submitting assignment after assignment that failed to challenge or inspire. He knows the system and he will not put up with someone telling him that the rules have suddenly changed. He, of course, will resist doing this assignment.

I've been thinking a lot about my students and how they proceed with their academic lives. In a class that I am taking we have discussed leading a horse to water, etc. And to this day, after 21 years of teaching, I still question how we can get him to drink.

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