We had a great in-service today about keeping our accelerated math students engaged. Of course many of the strategies presented would motivate ALL kids. One thing that was stressed in this presentation: kids need to learn to engage socially and have the necessary skills to collaborate. Teaching kids to value each other’s expertise, opinions, and ideas, whether they are similar or completely different should be one of our main goals in educating these minds for tomorrow.
Something new I learned today (according to the National Cancer Institute):
The improvement in survival for children with ALL over the past 35 years is one of the great success stories of cancer treatment. In the 1960s, less than 5 percent of children with ALL survived for more than five years. Today, about 85 percent of children with ALL live five years or more.
This did not come about because of one person, but because of collaboration among many doctors and scientists.
Kids will need to learn to work together if they are going to solve today’s global problems. But to work together, they will need to share and value each other’s ideas.
Diversity is such a gift when we recognize the efforts, ideas, and talents others offer. Some seem to be so threatened by other people’s ideas that we often forget to see that we have so much in common. Without getting too far into politics, one only has to look at the theatrics on both sides that recently surrounded national healthcare legislation. People are naturally attracted to those with similar interests and affinities. If one of those affinities was recognizing what people of differing backgrounds bring to the table, we could get so much more done. The presenter, Kay Law, described a teacher who made every kid believe they could learn algebra. That teacher valued each child’s ideas. The answer to this post’s title, by the way, is that there are many possible patterns and we need to validate each one.
A little unrelated, but we were shown a video put together about 21st century learners and their needs. This is how a group of teachers from a school responded.