Some students ask, "Why do I have to go to school?" or "What good is school?" (Ouch.) The common answers are trite, limited, and unsatisfactory.
- You need it to get a good job someday.
- You don't want to be ignorant.
- It's the law.
The basic answer, simple but profoundly important, is that education makes us better thinkers, in a multitude of ways. So, when we become educated, we are not merely learning subjects, but rather ways of thinking. This is a lifelong process! I believe that kids love learning, too, and this resource is designed to lead them to appreciate the gift of education.
If you have time for some philosophical discussion in your classroom, this resource can help everyone think more deeply about education. I envision it being used in any number of ways:
- Any time that students are showing a tendency toward dismissing the value of school or an education, you could challenge them with the brief slide show, or one or two of the task card questions. (The way this is presented, wise teacher, is important. Education is a gift - yes, it's hard work, but it changes one's life by opening the mind. Try to focus on opening a treasure box and finding all that's valuable inside. We don't want to shame kids or criticize them because they don't like homework!)
- The task cards have suggestions for group work in most cases.
- Writing briefly about a question from the task cards could be assigned for homework or a bellringer.
- You might give groups an assignment to complete with a chart or other product, which might then be shared with the class.
- Let kids choose their favorite school activity to focus on. (Sorry, recess is not included, but it could easily be tied in with social interaction or effective communication.)
- Brainstorming is a feature of many of the questions. Refer to the slide show for review as needed.
This is not your everyday lesson because, though it's short, it is so broad. I have created it with the hope that it will spark discussion in your classes and that learning, thinking, and wisdom will become even more respected.
You receive the following with this resource:
- 15-Slide presentation showing many ways that we learn to think. The vocabulary on the slides, which is matched to the school subjects/ways of thinking is explained in the context of that subject area. (For example: We learn to think quantitatively through the study of mathematics.)
- 48 Open-ended questions on task cards for discussion on each of the aspects/disciplines of school (8 questions per discipline): Literacy, Science, History, Mathematics, the Arts, Social Interaction
- Three links in the task card document:
* 7 Ways to Improve Your Thinking Skills
* Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World
* How to Learn Critical Thinking (Learning how to think critically
makes you smart.)
I would love to hear your feedback, positive or otherwise, on how this worked in your classroom, or how you feel it could be improved. Thank you for your support!