Once a month our staff meets in Learning Teams to discuss educational topics. The goal is to get teachers thinking about their thinking. Scott McLeod's blog Dangerously ! Irrelevant is a great thought provoking site for conversation starters. Below is our Learning Team Agenda for October.
The following is a post on Scott McLeod’s blog,
Dangerously ! Irrelevant
Our students want better work, not less workSEPTEMBER 14, 2010
Chris Guillebeau says:
Many people believe that the key to an improved lifestyle is less work. I think it’s better work. I believe that most of us want to work hard, but we want to do the kind of work that energizes us and makes a positive impact on others. That kind of work is worth working for, and the other kind of work is worth letting go of, finished or not. (The Art of Non-Conformity, p. 10)
I think that pretty much sums it up for our students, doesn’t it? It’s not that they don’t want to work hard. It’s that they don’t want to expend too much energy on work that isn’t meaningful. When we see reports of rampant plagiarism or tales of students who want to do as little as possible in order to get a grade, isn’t that an indication that they’re doing work that’s not meaningful to them? When students are working on something that they’re passionate about, rather than apathetic, don’t most of these so-called generational ‘values’ or ‘character’ issues disappear? Contrary to what many believe, our students don’t want to just get by. They just want better work.
As a Learning Team please discuss the following questions as a group
1. In the context of your classroom, what do you consider is meaningful work?
2. Is the work you just described in number 1, meaningful for you or for your students?
3. How can you change the climate of your classroom to offer students more chances at engaging in meaningful work?
4. Discuss examples of the most meaningful work completed in your classroom this year.