Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Engaging Students with Passion-Based Learning - Pt 1

Editor's Note: Below is an excerpt from a post written for the International Society for Technology Educator's "ISTE Connects." This post was published at the ISTE Connects site which targets educators engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology education.

Recently I attended Alan November’s Building Learning Communities Conference where I participated in a session for educators exploring how to become transformational leaders. A participant at my table said, “This is all nice, but kids need to learn that school isn’t always interesting. Sometimes school is just boring.” “Not true!" I responded. "School shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be boring.” When I shared this with Alan he recommended I ask this participant, “Which teachers should teach students that they have to learn that school is boring?“ This certainly would not be me. While I’ve witnessed teachers who accept that students are disengaged, sometimes even falling asleep in their class, I do not believe a teacher passionate about his/her career would embrace the idea that it is okay for their students to be bored. In fact, I contend that if every teacher prioritized just one thing, we could eradicate boredom in our classrooms, deeply engage students, and dramatically decrease the dropout rate. That one thing is...

Supporting students in finding their passion.

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  1. What I find crazy are the people who say school should be boring because work will be boring. So they're doing students a favor by preparing them for the real world.

    I've had that conversation numerous times. I find that unbelievably sad as it says quite a lot about how they perceive their jobs and the world as a whole.

  2. @Tom, I couldn't agree more. This participant actually made that point as well. I pointed out that most of the people at the BLC conference felt differently about the work they were doing. I was sorry that wasn't the case for this man.