Thursday, December 9, 2010
An inch deep and a mile wide
Here is an e-mail conversation I had with one of our parents, John Reed, who is a high school teacher in a Houston suburb.
The film (Race to Nowhere) is receiving a good bit of press. I am urging my principal to show the film and suggested we have a NO homework night once a week. (for honors students) (I'll institute it myself if she doesn't)
As an AP teacher and parent that is trying to stay aware of these issues, the film really caught my attention. Two quotes in particular stood out. "An inch deep and a mile wide" and "don't take 6 AP classes".
The first quote summarizes (for me) what is the absolute biggest problem in so many schools. That we throw a tsunami of facts and homework at the kids without slowing up to actually catch our breath and LEARN something.
The second quote was sort of funny but also serious in that 6 AP classes are ok for some kids but too many students are trying to take too many AP classes. They are just not right for everyone but there exists this invisible gravitational pull to take AP classes irregardless of other factors. (social, stress level, educational appropriateness,etc. )
I walked away from the film with a deeper appreciation of the type education my daughters are receiving now and also the film has made me take pause for the type of secondary education I would want them to experience in the future.
Thanks, John Reed.
Interesting to read The Times take on the film.
James Moudry and I just returned from visiting Montessori charter school high schools in Golden,CO and Redlands, CA. Both schools have been in operation for 10 years and enroll approximately 100 students in grades 10 - 12 (they both keep the 9th year students in the middle school, maintaining Montessori's 3-year groupings.) Both were very inspiring. We learned a lot from them.