Monday, November 16, 2009

Prensky says make school less boring

One of Mark Prensky's "Principles for Principals reads:  " Make it your business to eliminate boredom from your school—make 100 percent engagement the goal. Poll students as to which of their teachers and classes are engaging and which are boring and why. Investigate and take action."

I felt this needed some clarification: 

We can make school less boring, but not by making it more entertaining or less demanding. (Some teachers achieve it at the expense of learning, by entertaining at a higher and higher level trying to emulate Bill Nye, which probably cost $400K per show.) It’s about working the students very hard, but on something that has meaning and a real audience, in other words, on real work, instead of work for the teacher. It’s not about inordinate obeisance to their immature subculture, which we enabled when we created schools.  Its also not as dependent on technology as Prensky's article suggests.  The coolness factor is temporary.  I like this little video, which I think deals with the hype quite well: