Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Week 6-Take 5-#1

Hello all! Michele and I were talking yesterday about the ALIS project, and how our students seem to not remember the writing process when they come into the next level. She had said that students aren't owning their learning with their writing, and we fly through it so quick that it's hard to retain. Do we give up other curriculum aspects and replace them with these slower, more detailed writing lessons? I see it across the board in all classes and all levels. Does it just slip out once the summer hits? Are they not putting in the effort to establish good habits? Or do they just not get it?


Blogger Davis said...

Of course I could talk in circles around this (as you know)! I do think this is a topic for our department to discuss. Do kids really have an investment for their learning, or are they just doing what we ask of them, for that class only?

This has been what's great about CIT for me. I challenge myself, Karl challenges me, to question: why am I teaching this and what do I want my students to know? But, more importantly, how will I know that my students are engaged and really "get" it?

10:09 AM  
Blogger James H said...

I would be surprised if it makes it the summer before they forget most of what they are learning. So many of our students are really good at the game of school and not interested in the knowledge gained.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Crosby said...

I have wondered about this subject too. These days I am more convinced that students know how to do the tasks that we ask them to accomplish, but often they don't want to put in the effort to succeed. For example, right now I have a junior in Western Civilization who was in my US History class as a freshman. We worked two years ago to improve his studying skills, and he finally admitted that it wasn't that he didn't know HOW to study, he just wasn't putting in the time. Now fast-forward to this year. He completely bombed the first test and when he came in to talk to me about studying strategies, he admitted that he just didn't study. I asked him why, and he said that he just didn't think that the test would be very difficult. He did acknowledge that made no sense, considering that he had been in my class before, but he just didn't want to work hard. So, long story short, I do think that the students can do the work. Our difficult job is to convince them that they need to work hard all of the time!

1:37 AM  
Blogger Ms. Kakos said...

I agree wholeheartedly with James and Amanda. My students who seem to care genuinely about improving their writing latch onto every mini-lesson I do, while others sit back, take down a few notes, and never bother to apply what they've learned. I try to put every writing lesson I do in perspective, pointing out how a skill will come into play next semester, next year, in their jobs, until they're pushing up daisies. But when it comes down to it, as the old saying goes, you can lead a student to a rubric, but you can't make him drink it in. Ah...I can't tell you how many times my grandparents told me that old aphorism.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Hatak said...

I need to agree with the other statements. I have a hard time telling the students that the material they are learning is important to their whole life. They see science as an unconnected study. There are some students who want to learn just because but most of them are just interested in the grade. I am still working on the "point-counters" but I hope the other students learn the importance of learning somwhere along the way.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Karl Fisch said...

I agree, yet . . . yet . . . yet . . . I think we need to be careful about "blaming" the students. Yes, ultimately, only they can decide whether they are going to be engaged or not and put in the hard work. But, if so many of them are disengaged, don't we have to look back to ourselves - and our classrooms - before pointing the figure at them?

I keep coming back to the saying "I taught it, they just didn't learn it." In the end, it really doesn't matter what we "teach", it matters what they learn. And if they aren't learning it, it's our job to keep trying to figure out new ways to help them learn it - no matter whose "fault" it is.

8:50 AM  

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