Friday link round-up

Published by Lori Pickert on January 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

This week’s links I shared on Facebook:

Amy has one son in a school with a PBL curriculum and two others being homeschooled; she shared her sometimes frustrating experience in helping the school-attending son make the most of a school project:

“The school describes its curriculum as ‘project-based,’ but their definition and implementation is somewhat different than mine. … Interviewing somebody is great — if the student decides that’s the best way to get information that otherwise is unavailable. But assigning an interview takes away so much of the learning process… What do I want to know? How can I find it out? What resources are available to me? Instead, it seems like somebody else decided fifth graders should interview ‘experts.’” — {PBL} Projects + School at Kids in the Studio

I loved Carrie’s post about applying PBH lessons to her two-year-old’s love of brooms:

“It’s not about playing in to childish fixations, passing fancies or silly obsessions, as some people might think. Instead, it’s about meeting our children where they are in the moment. Sharing in their excitement, and showing them that we respect the way their brains work.” — For the love of brooms… at Carrie Mac

Respecting a child’s interests early on lays the groundwork for all the work he can do in the future. What a wonderful gift to give him. There really is no time too early to begin to pay attention to your child, his interests, and how he learns — and no time too early to begin to support him thoughtfully. 

I enjoyed this very interesting article about how kids’ engagement goes straight down the longer they’re in school, including the author’s uncertainty about whether they were measuring engagement correctly. (I think they were. What do you think?)

“Is our desire to be engaged, effective lifelong learners beaten down, if not killed outright by the time we leave high school? That may be too bleak a conclusion to draw, but the findings of a recent Gallup survey are disturbing nonetheless.” — A Bad Start to Lifelong Learning? at Mission to Learn

I liked Seth Godin’s post about how many people think they can initiate or create something vs. how many feel competent enough to criticize it:

“[M]ost people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.” — Who goes first? at Seth’s Blog

Of course, what we want is to help our children become makers and doers.

A great article by a former university president, now professor emeritus at University of Michigan, about the college admissions process (he’s not a fan):

“At present, we inculcate the young into our superstitions, first of all the belief, against all evidence, that where you attend college determines your fate. … It is stupid, at least, to place so much weight upon it when in reality so much of what happens is up to the individual. The self-starting, energetic student at a community college will learn more and do better afterwards than a sloth attending Harvard or Yale.” — Ruining Our Children: The Scourge of College Admissions

That quote is a bit longer than what I posted on Facebook, and here’s a bonus quote:

Worse, this ugly attempt to claw your kid’s way into college implies that the only reason for doing anything — including sports or civic engagement or studying — is to get somewhere. Nothing has innate value. In such a grotesque system, now never quite becomes now, it is always just an instrument toward some future moment which of course will fail equally to be a now, for it too will be valued only for leading to the next step on this stairway to self-denigration. Race to the top, sure, but the top of what? To change the metaphor, out of the deep ocean of knowledge, we have somehow derived this shallows.

Yes, I know all that, we may say, but everyone else is doing it and we can’t put our own child at a disadvantage. What disadvantage? The disadvantage of independence, of a reflective mind and a calm spirit, of discovering one’s own interests and of following, as Emerson urged, where the soul leads? If that is a set of disadvantages, sign me and my children up. — ibid.

Finally, I loved this blog post Stacey wrote. I think it demonstrates what can happen when you have dedicated project time — you acquire the habit of bringing your energy and focus to the time you’ve set aside.

“What I didn’t realize was how doing rather than planning feels so different.” — Beyond the Plan at No Unsacred Places

Thank you for reading — have a great weekend!


Comment by amy21 on January 18, 2013 at 04:03 PM

I'll be reading that college admissions article you linked to when I have more time. Just those quotes contains *so* much of what I believe about college--and the part about the sloth attending Harvard or Yale made me laugh out loud. Gah, having so many Ivy Leagues in my, yes. A little chip on my shoulder. ;)

Comment by Lori Pickert on January 18, 2013 at 04:55 PM

yes, read it so we can talk about it!

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