Can we be childish educators?

I just watched a really great TED talk given by a twelve year old named Adora Svitak.  What an enlightening child, and she has so many wonderful points and ideas to share.  Her main idea is that children are often not heard, and adults make all of the decisions.  She sees that collaboration between adults and students are key to an effective relationship.

I know that all students have their own ideas and gifts that they can share with the world, that is the reason I have become an educator.  Listening to Adora speak reaffirmed my belief that the only expectations I should have are high ones.  I know and understand that not every student in my class will be the one that wants to make a difference and challenge the norms that they see, but I still feel that it is important to listen to ideas and challenge our students in ways that are “different”.

Adora makes so many valid arguments, and I believe she is right.  How can we expect our students to learn and grow if we are telling them they can only do so in the restrictive parameters WE establish for them?  Can we expect our students to grow and become better adults than we have been if we continue to make them fit into our idea of productive?

2 thoughts on “Can we be childish educators?

  1. Very insightful post Amy. This TED talk sounds very interesting. I think that your thoughts on the restrictive parameters we establish for students is such a powerful implication that teachers may not inquire into. I have also lately been rethinking some of the the strategies I have, and want to take in challenging students in different ways. I wonder how many educators today are considering these perspectives?

  2. That sounds like a very interesting ted talk! I will have to check it out after classes today. But from what you have said, Adora is right about restrictions. We as educators cannot expect our students to grow if we tell them everything they have to do and how it should be done. Learning is not a fill in the blank questionnaire, it’s changing all the time and each child learns differently. Some may work fine with having strict guidelines, but others work better with a mere ‘Research this and get ready to present next week’. We need to be talking to the students we are teaching to find out how they learn and what is interesting to them. We aren’t teaching them for our own benefit, but their benefit. Teaching should be tailored to the students, not the teachers.

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