As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on gay marriage, Yahoo asked readers and contributors to share what one cultural issue absorbs their interest. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | Standardized testing is taking our children and our teachers hostage. A teacher in Ohio's public schools myself, I was recently told by an administrator: "Sure, creative projects are nice, but the reality is we need to prepare kids for the test."
Translation: You need to do more worksheets, more practice bubbletrons with your students. Creativity doesn't count here.
However, in real reality, creativity solves problems much bigger than "choose the best answer."
Intelligent, out-of-the-box thinking students regularly tell me how stupid they feel because they can't "figure out" what the test wants from them.
It breaks my heart when my daughter -- a fun-loving, passionate animal lover -- cries after school because her 2nd grade teacher spent 2 hours on Math test prep at school and now she has another 45 minutes of homework.
The biggest social concern of our age is to take the school-as-prison mentality and turn it into school as-invention-studio. We start by training teachers in alternative practices such as Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. Then, like Ohio's Cincinnati Public Schools, we bring these alternative practices into the public sphere.
As parents, we have to stand beside our teachers and say to our legislators and administration: no more testing, no more industrialization of education. Bring creativity and love of learning out of the privilege of private schools and into the public school realm where everyone has access.
Finland has it right. Creativity for teachers and students counts -- it's about educating for life, not for a test.
- Teaching & Learning