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Lead from the Start: Teach them to be ...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Teach them to be ...

Thanks to Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach I found this fantastic quote by David Warlick. He Was describing his all-time greatest teacher when he came to this conclusion.

" We should be teaching today by putting students in the industry of information. We need to stop teaching science and start teaching students to be scientists. Stop teaching history, but rather teach to be historians. Stop teaching students to be researchers, and instead, teach them to solve problems and accomplish goals using information."

It really seems to address the difference between the "education" that Teacher Leaders are talking about and the "education" that policy makers are talking about. Both parties want to provide great education to students but the ways differ.
When I heard about the Gates Fondation's support of the reform idea of teaching students to be creative as a way to be economically viable in the global economy, I was elated. I know first hand that my training as a creative artist has made me a better teacher. I am able to confront and over come "problems" whether it is lack of resources, unsupportive homes, or emotionally difficult children because I have a never ending fountain of creativity to drink from and revive myself in the face of almost overwhelming circumstances. I know that if I am creative and persistent I can find solutions to any challenge.

I would like to add to David Warlick's post that not only should we be putting students in the industry of information but also teaching them how to create new information that is vital and important to the world around them. One way to do this is through the parts of the curriculum that some consider to be "extra," the arts. The arts (music, art, industrial arts, writing, film, photography, and P.E.) enable students to be successful in a global economy by giving them the opportunity to apply learning.

So, how can we get teachers and policy makers to start seeing the value of creativity. I propose this can be done by showcasing our youth's work in ways that show how well served they will be from the creative skills they use in creating anything from scratch. (including a blog)


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