Tuesday, June 14, 2011

State Regulations Get In the Way of Teen's Learning

I recently was at an inner city school in Harlem where students were empowered to work independently making podcasts about topics of deep personal interest.  Stations were set up around the room and students knew what to do and could move through the stations at their own pace.  The children were very proud of their work and the work of their classmates.  I spoke to a student and asked her what she thought about learning this way. She said that she loved working at her own pace because she was no longer slowed down by the teacher and/or class.

Brycen R. R. Couture, a teen who has opted not to go to school and instead achieve success in the world, expressed a similar sentiment in a recent post on his blog where he complains about state requirements that are holding him back sharing this.  
When I have to stop living in order to please the State, I don’t feel good about it. It doesn’t feel right. Why should I have to stop living because you tell me I have to prepare for a future that I am living now? I’ve released my first CD at 17 years old, now. I perform my music now. I’ve written a book which is in the editing stage now. I’ve been interviewed for a movie now. I do children’s rights work now. I’ve booked myself on the radio, now. I’m part of NH Media Makers now. I started a club and ran my own business from ages 12-15. I’ve been speaking to the public full of professionals since I was 12. I can’t count how many times I’ve been in the newspaper for my community activism, now. I like to bike, socialize with friends, make chain mail, calculate dice probabilities, invent games, build forts, cook, play Dungeons and Dragons and I have a close relationship with my Mom, all now. I am writing this to New Hampshire now; I’m not waiting around for the future!
One-size-fits-all assessments work well for easily checking off compliance boxes, but they don't work well for people.  Whether learning from school or learning from life, personal success plans, not standardized compliance tools are what best serve our children.  

Read Brycen R. R. Couture's Blog at http://brycenrrcouture.blogspot.com

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