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Thursday, April 30, 2015

NO Rules

I moderated a wonderful spark chat this morning #BFC530. The topic was based on a video about a school in New Zealand. It takes a bit of time to watch, but presses hard at the boundaries that adults have towards our kids and their play. 

This principal has taken the risk research and pushed the boundaries to an extreme that makes many uncomfortable. But isn't that where change happens? Where we are uncomfortable? This idea that we just continue to "molly coddle" our children and develop these helpless beings who need to be told what to do, and how to solve problems scares me for the future of our world. 

One of the participants in this mornings chat was Abner Oakes (@aoakes4) and he proposed this article from about a year ago in The Atlantic (@TheAtlanticEDU). Called 

Then another participant, William Green (@7wgreen7)  posted his blog 

This topic is one that was so intriguing to me that I proposed it to my students. They (of course) had an opinion too! So I encouraged them to blog about it, and they were pretty insightful. 

During our class discussion, one of them said "I would love to see this happen Mrs. Boyce, but it never will at our school, because Parents wouldn't let it."   She used the word "Parents" like it was the giant from the Jack and the Beanstalk story. This entity which dictates how we teach. 
Oh wait, it does. 

Between fitting in curriculum between testing, worrying about how the scores are panning out, and how that is impacting our profession, in addition to trying to stay on top of what the legislature is doing at the local and federal level, we are losing the whole reason we are employed. 
The kids. 

As a teacher I am always trying to stay on top of what is best for kids. Isn't play what is best for them. I mean, curriculum is helpful, but doesn't play teach too? I think lessons learned from peers and play are some of the best teachers. What are we doing by taking away more and more play time, so we can assess? Is this right? What do you think? I would love to hear from you.