September 11, 2009

business -> classroom

What can educators learn from business research? Well, yesterday I would have had to think a while before answering with a pretty empty answer because I have never really thought much about that, but today I say SO MUCH! I ran across this video on another blog and decided it was worth spending 20 minutes of my life on. Now questions about the future of schooling and a student's viability in the "real world" are swimming around in my head a a rapid pace.

Forget everything you thought you knew about motivating people and watch this.

Okay. Well, now what? Now that I'm hearing incentives are only for work that a trained monkey can do, how can I put that to use in my class room? Well, I suppose it means it's time to make up a list of what does and does not qualify as monkey business. I can continue with our pay-to-spell program where once every 4 months Hannah jane is given a dime for every new word from the Dolch word list she can spell correctly, because I think Cocoa (every one's favorite primate) could do that. But perhaps tasks that fall outside of memorization require more talk of innovation and excellence rather than stocking the piggy bank or adding another sticker to the chart.

If you're a homeschooling mom, odds are good that your playground chit chat is a bit different from the norm. You've likely heard friendly debates over quality vs. quantity, structured vs. unstructured, and whether or not to mimic public ed hour for hour. I am thinking that the research put forth by this fella likely validates both sides when tasks are categorized appropriately. Structured and rewarded time spent on things that fall into the "grammar" or "parroting" stages of trivium education model is time well spent. Less structured time spent on things that fall more into the "logic" or "rhetoric" of the trivium is also appropriate and should not be devalued as "free time" so often is. Perhaps a more selective form of strategizing is what is called for.

For anyone interested, that fella up there in the youtube box also wrote a nice little article called School's Out on us home bodied educators and our offspring. Check it out!

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