Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The other day I was helping Katie to study for a history quiz.  I brought up something about what she was studying and said, "Think about it!"  She was tired and had a lot of homework that night (and for the past few nights) and just wanted to be Done. She said, "I don't want to think.  I want to memorize."  She then added that she could think when she wanted to, but that right then she wanted to memorize.  So back to the studying we went focusing on memorizing.

I've sometimes decided to do only what I deemed necessary and nothing more when I've felt very busy or exhausted.  She was choosing to do only what she felt was necessary to get the grade she wanted.  Even though she was doing what she wanted to do, it reminded me of what I didn't like about the school culture; it creates students that put such focus on grades instead of  on understanding and not on what is meaningful to the learner, but what is to be taught to everyone across the board whether they are interested in it or find it useful or not.

When Katie was not in school, she had the time to understand what she was interested in and she was a voracious reader.  She would memorize things sometimes for fun, but never to please anyone outside of her own self.  And never before was she judged or evaluated for it.

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