It's about the children

Just had another thought. If it is about the children, then what are the children saying? What do they say they need? Or do we have adults telling adults what children need?

Hoping to seed some discussion here. 🙂


3 Responses to “It's about the children”

  1. Vav Says:

    Children (certainly the young ones) are not able to fully understand what they need. They can tell you what they want, but needs are a whole different beast. Young children will tell you that having a teacher that is light on discipline is good, however, my experience clearly shows that they are happier and more productive when there are clear rules and expectations. Children will tell you that there should be no homework, but continuing the school lessons at home provides many benefits. I could go on, and on…

    We should, however listen to the children through our adult ears and perspectives as this will tell us about the expectations that are being set for them, what is being asked of them, and what their learning environment is like. We can then use this information to work with the adults in our community to congratulate and reward successes and look for ways to address the problems.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Vav, you are right in that young children may not fully understand what they need – no doubt about it at all. I guess I had slightly older children in mind. 🙂

    But I think we can delve a little deeper and inquire as to how children learn, which we can do by talking to them. Is this not what our fine Research University is supposed to be doing? And I know they do a ton of research on children – my office is about 200 feet from the University’s Children’s Research Center on Gerty Drive. I just don’t see the dots being connected back to Unit 4. Maybe they are there and I just don’t know about them.

  3. Karen Says:

    I think the College of Ed should focus more on rigorous empirical research to base educational practices on. Too often it seems that ideology trumps data. Perhaps this is why we are coming full circle *back* to core knowledge? The data showed it worked. But, process-oriented ideological visions of how children should learn seemed to become all the rage and solid factual content fell by the wayside (evil rote learning and all). Always ask for citations when you hear an educator make broad based claims about ‘research shows…’ I have heard many claims about incorporating the latest brain research into the classroom even though said latest brain research is not at a level (yet) that translates into direct practice in the classroom. Sends up a red flag about the level of understanding and/or ability to critically evaluate empirical research, and, sadly seems rampant in the field of education. Tap into Pscyh and Speech Path at UIUC for perhaps more empirically grounded info on how kids learn.

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