When I first viewed this video and the story that accompanies it, I had the following initial reactions. You’ll have to check out the video to understand the rest of this post, but it’s only about a minute long.
My first thoughts:
- I should unsubscribe from CNN’s Schools of Thought Blog. I don’t keep it in my queue because I think they say brilliant things about education (sometimes they do, but it’s rare)… I keep it because it enables me to keep my finger on the proverbial pulse of public opinion about education. This, however, nearly made me unsubscribe.
- How unfortunate that this kid feels this way about his classmates.
- How in the world can I respond to this without invalidating what this kid feels?
- Does anyone else find this a little outraging/outrageous?
For the life of me, I couldn’t even start writing the reactionary post. I started, deleted, started again, revised, and finally gave up. For lack of a better plan, I turned to facebook, where I’m friends with other education scholars and a number of former students. I got the following couple of responses, and though I might have liked to hear more people’s two cents, their combined comments are worth quoting. Here’s what they said:
From a former colleague/fellow ed scholar:
”Lack of motivation” is nothing new–it’s been around as long as schools have. This kid seems like a disaffected outsider who’s using this forum to vent his frustrations with his peers. I don’t doubt that there’s some accuracy to what he’s saying, but it’s by no means the only–or even the greatest–problem with education. If a lot of students are truly unmotivated, then we need to examine why they lack motivation–a search that, I suspect, will lead us directly to parents and home environments
Being a fellow student, I understand his view. But I don’t think kids don’t have a willingness to learn. Every year is seems more materials are added to the cirriculum that there isn’t time to gain thorough knowledge of a subject and with work, school, and social lives, many teens just go for the grade instead of learning so they can pass and move on, hindering them if the subject comes up again. However I don’t appreciate the attack on the arts. The arts apply what is taught in math, english, etc which should increase their “willingness to learn.”