Two-way communication on a critical topic

Once in a while I get short responses to ideas that I post here, but for the most part my ideas here have been a one-way source of communication. Today, I invite you to dialogue with me and with each other.

I believe our current education system was build for another time. It was not wrong. It was reflective of the needs of the times. I am absolutely convinced that staff in our schools are working very hard in our current system that was built for another time, but I believe continuing to work harder and harder doing much the same thing within the same structure will not produce different results. If we are going to get serious about shifting the work to students, we have a fundamental question to tackle – and without some semblance of a common belief on this matter, we won’t get very far. So my question to you today is this: Why (or why not) is it important for students to take primary responsibility and ownership for their learning?

I’m looking forward to your conversation with each other.


About Dani Trimble

Superintendent of Schools Alburnett School District
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8 Responses to Two-way communication on a critical topic

  1. Mark Stevens says:

    Until we have our students take ownership of their (operative term being THEIR) education, they will gain little from their education. In our current system we literally spoon-feed our students the content of their classes, and yet, few, if any of them ingest any of what we feed them.

  2. Karla says:

    The Montessori method has been popular for a long time, and seems to produce students that are excited about learning, and parents that are excited about their kid’s education. When students direct/guide their learning, they typically are more involved in their topics and learn more than a “standard curriculum.” BTW, I just read your comments to my 6th grade grandson, asked him your question and he said he would rather learn what he wanted to learn (rather than his teacher’s standard curriculum) because he would learn it faster. Of course, students don’t always want to learn all the things they NEED to learn, so guidance in those areas would be important too.
    (Great question!)

  3. vicki meadows says:

    Because ultimately they are responsible for what they learn AND how they apply it. Education needs to help students pave the way for their future, no matter if that is going to college (2 year or 4 years, or even graduate school OR working in the trades OR taking over the family farm. Our world is ever changing yet our educational system is rooted in our past we must move forward to give our children the best chance for them succed in their future.

  4. Heather says:

    Two answers I got when I asked the question at my house. “Because later in life there won’t be anyone to do it for you.” Also, “It’s your responsibility. If you don’t learn, it’s no one’s fault but your own.” As Karla mentioned, guidance is needed,of course, but the earlier we can help kids learn (and give them tools) about ownership and responsibility (in all areas) the better. The idea that we all have preferred ways of learning can be applied and children can have the opportunity to succeed regardless of their learning style.

  5. Patty says:

    Could you please explain your question in a little more depth?

  6. Kelly says:

    I believe it depends on the student. Although i am not sure of what shifting responsibility would mean. I would guess one child of mine would excel taking primary responsibility for her learning. My other child would not. He may suffer more than he would currently. If he is not given deadlines and consequence, he has little motivation to finish anything having to do with school . With that being said, I think there is no one way. Kids are all different.

  7. Amy says:

    Ownership is something we all ready have, weather we recognized it or not. As elementry students, they are far too young and immature to take responsibility for what they learn. But with that said, it is the best time to develop consistent study habits and basic principles/behavors/morals, etc..The foundation of society and the Education system. I also believe that this is the key age to teach other laungages and concepts, because they are fresh, open and teachable.
    As JH approaches, many are distracted by the pure changes that life has for them at that stage, & keeping them on coarse is very difficult! Maybe, if they are given lessons in such a way that one must level must be completed before the next level can be attained, like a video game, then perhaps the challenge of keeping up and maybe beating (re: grades) the competition (peers) could motivate the majority. They definately would learn at their own pace. As HS comes, then the real ownership concept can be addressed. I believe that it is so important for each person to recognize their strengths and weakness. Address those topics and behaviors, and learn to overcome their shortcomings, to make them stronger, more mature adults. Once HS is complete and where you take your education from there, is true ownership. But alas, I believe so many start out in college with no idea what direction they should head, because they are just following the statis quo, with no idea where it will lead them.
    Back in the day, children left school ready for the workforce because it was a necessity. Especially during the Depression Era, many weren’t allow to finish school because their family needed them to work. Yet, remarkably they had enough education to survive and provide for their families. My point is that we should, as parents and schools, be teaching our children to be thinking individuals, ready to leave home and be productive persons, by 12th grade. We have some parents that haven’t done that for themselves, little lone their children. But that lack can be improved with education. We as a village, we should and can help individuals when we see the need. Each individual has a unique calling. We need to recognize their personal growth habits and how best they can learn, this will help them achieve their potential. Some are college bound, others…tech and vocational is the best choice. We need to intervenve as parents and teachers to guide them to their best occupation. America is changing and the workforce is morphing, thus making it harder to address what skills are needed in todays job maket. So yes, they own their futures. Society needs them to attain their full potentials.

  8. Nike Air Max says:

    I really like it when people come together
    and share opinions. Great blog, continue the good work!

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