Thursday, February 11, 2010

What are Students Missing?

Socrates Carnelian Gem Imprint Rome, 1stBCE1stCE.Image via Wikipedia
What are students missing? What do students bring to the table?

By the time students get to my class in 6th grade, at the age of 10, 11, or even 12 going on 13, most are very well set in their ways of thinking. Set in their ways, the students find it frustrating at times, hard work, and shocking when I don't answer their questions. Some students will look at me in disbelief and will wait to see if I am going to answer their questions.

At times I feel as though I am expecting too much out of them.

Wondering if they think I am a terrible teacher with no answers, only more questions.

In my short time teaching, it appears that most students are missing the ability, or drive, to "figure things out." Most want the answer. Now!

No time for thinking, no time to problem solve.

Even though I continue to practice my method of forcing students to think on their own, I have come to realize several factors.

First, I have learned that students need to be provided with classroom and life experiences that force them to think and problem solve on their own. Experiences where parents, teachers, or even peers asking questions to spark thinking and ideas that help individuals answer their own questions.

Secondly, I believe that if it is not part of the educational process as a "whole," then students will not truly be thinkers.

We want our children and students to learn how to and want to think on their own.

This process needs to begin early.

Otherwise, our students will be missing more out of life than they realize.

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."

~Socrates (BC 469-BC 399)
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