Friday, September 17, 2010

punish the curious

"It's easy to underestimate how difficult it is for someone to become curious. For 7, 10, or even 15 years of school, you are required to not be curious. Over and over and over again, the curious are punished."

That's from Seth Godin in his book Tribes.

Yesterday I dropped by two classrooms. In the middle school math class, students were divided into groups of 4. Each group was engrossed in conversation -- and experimentation -- trying to change the orientation of a parabola.

Then I visited a lower elementary classroom (1-2-3 graders, age 6-9 years old). The teacher struck a little chime to get children's attention and announced, "It's time to put away your work and to line up for recess." Three pairs of children said at the same time, "WAIT! Can we finish what we're working on first?"

Or as one of our parents asked after the first day of school, "What do you put in the water? I've never seen children so eager to get back to school!"

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