Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Playing at School

I’m having this thought about a book I read over 16 years ago. It talked about how many people spend more energy playing games and doing hobbies, and they invest in their work. It pointed out how folks can come home from work exhausted. Then, go workout or go play baseball with their local backyard team.

The man who wrote the book, Charles A. Coonradt tested his idea by turning work tasks into measurable self-competing contests. People were asked to weigh the paper they filed every day. Suddenly a department that had been behind for three years was ahead and had 3 hours extra each day. They asked for more, if he would find a way that they could measure the new task too. He calls his book, The Game of Work.

I was thinking, What if we made schoolwork into a game? What if we took it outside of the school building and made extracurricular? Would more kids love to learn math and science and history then?

What if we made the mandatory curriculum be art, music, and dance? Would we ruin the joy of these simply by making them have-tos?

I guess, I’ll never know what would happen then.

On the other hand, I bet we all could predict.

Why can’t we find a way to share the joy without needing strings attached?

It’s the presentation, not the content.
−me strauss Letting me be

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

SAT Reading and Math Scores Show a Significant Decline

The average score on the reading and math portions of the newly expanded SAT showed the largest decline in 31 years, according to a report released yesterday by the College Board on the performance of the high school class of 2006.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/education/30sat.html?ei=5094&en=645ef9b533220442&hp=&ex=1156996800&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print

- Largest decline in 31 years?

- Whatever happened to "No Child Left Behind"?

Anonymous in Budapest

ME Strauss said...

I worry too anyone.

michaelm said...

I truly believe that some teachers just plain "get it".
They know how to reach these kids.
As far as the arts are concerned, I will always be a strong advocate for the learning and teaching of creativity. It bleeds seemlessly into every single thing we do. Why don't people realize this? Frustrating.

~m

ME Strauss said...

I know Michael and I agree with you. Math and music teach each other. Kids need both. I remember how easy it was to make teaching fun. I don't understand either.