When we were told to read the article 9 Elephants in the (Class)Room that Should “Unsettle” Us I didn’t expect to get much out of it. After reading these 9 elephants, I now see the issues school systems are having. It’s hard to cram everything that needs to be taught to students in just a whole year, so some things stay out of the curriculum entirely. And just like the title says, we should be unsettled by the fact that when your really think about it, students are not really gaining anything from school but memorization skills and a grade for doing so. We need to acknowledge these elephants in order to make school truly worth ours and the students time.
I think the hardest one for teachers and future teachers to read would probably be number 4: We know that we’re not assessing many of the things that really matter for future success. Personally, this sucked to read because I knew as I was finishing high school back then that I wasn’t ready for college with the skills and techniques I had been taught. But reading that I was true is even harder. You can’t measure everything in school (even though we try) and I think that’s what hurts the students most. When we assume the get it and move on to the next or a student shows creativity that differs than those listed in the book it’s frowned upon.
Number 1 says that students will forget most of the content that they are taught. I know this on a personal level. When it came to test I would just try to memorize the content given to me in the review and then I would go into the test hoping I remembered it all. Right when I handed in my test the information was gone and probably wouldn’t return unless I had a refresher course. I don’t know how teachers will change their teaching techniques so that the content sticks better. Number 3 Deep, lasting learning requires conditions that schools and classrooms are not built for, could be the answer that to number 1 if we chose to acknowledge it. If we have interest or passion in what we are learning and get choices, students will remember the content. Instead students are told to sit there and listen to lectures that disinterest us. Some classroom teachers have figured out a technique that works for their room. The day we figure out a way to reach every student we encounter, school will continue to be a struggle and a bore to many.