Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Perfect Classroom

In a NYTimes editorial, educator Susan Engel outlines the perfect elementary classroom. Her goals are clear:
So what should children be able to do by age 12, or the time they leave elementary school? They should be able to read a chapter book, write a story and a compelling essay; know how to add, subtract, divide and multiply numbers; detect patterns in complex phenomena; use evidence to support an opinion; be part of a group of people who are not their family; and engage in an exchange of ideas in conversation.
And her methods sound attractive, but challenging to produce:
In our theoretical classroom, children would also spend a short period of time each day practicing computation... Once children are proficient in those basics they would be free to turn to other activities that are equally essential for math and science: devising original experiments, observing the natural world and counting things, whether they be words, events or people.
The article is worth reading. The pedagogy she describes - lots and lots of reading, some writing, some applied math - is strikingly similar to the homeschool education I received.

Thanks, Mom & Dad!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Our pleasure.