How do we teach rock stars?

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Henry Rollins is pretty bad ace — not solely because he rocks hard; he is one of those individuals who embodies life-long learning, a concept I am more and more convinced is the critical factor in personal and professional success.  Here, he lays out thoughts worth listening to:

http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/henry-rollins-education-will-restore-a-vigorous-democracy

Here’s what I gain from this talk: Education is not enough to change society.  If it were, we’d be thriving since education happens everywhere (in classrooms and out).  The type of education we promote can change society.  It’s not enough that we teach.  It is what we teach.  Specifically, we need:

Citizens equipped with the skills necessary to make sense of diverse and challenging texts (i.e. LEARN);

Citizens equipped with the self-efficacy to to make sense of diverse and challenging texts (i.e. LEARN);

Citizens equipped with confidence and competence to apply knowledge practically and positively;

The end.

Purely, what more do we need from our citizens than competent, confident, skilled learners who apply practical knowledge to positive ends?  Such a citizen can choose any field and add something substantial, no matter what level.

And yet, I am left with these questions:

To what degree does our system teach learners how to learn?

To what degree does our system help students apply skills practically, working to solve real-life problems?

To what degree does our system help students develop confidence, competence, and self-efficacy?

I know my views on the topic.  What are yours?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kevin Elzinga says:

    Are you prepared for some hard advice?

    Again, I could be wrong…you will ALWAYS know your own situation better than I do ….however

    Based on what I am seeing on your blog, you don’t appear to have embraced the community that you are living in. You seem to be hovering around what YOUR interests are…which seem to be rooted in pop culture.

    You are living in a community that has a very Christian heritage. So pop culture isn’t going to be embraced as much as you may think that it is. You have to see past the masks that people wear and reach toward their souls.

    There may be farmers and hunters in your area seeking a voice on the national stage who have been so busy with chores that they don’t have time to focus on writing or marketing.

    That is where YOU and your students can step in.

    There are churches in your community that may be working on inter-faith dialogue.

    There are atheists who may want to debate the existence of God.

    ASK your supervisors…how much freedom do I have to discuss religion in a public school?

    You may have more freedom than you think you do, provided that you don’t emphasize or endorse any religion specifically.

    Be clear from the beginning that you will be discussing many religions and let parents know ahead of time so that they can tell you how much they want their children to be involved.

    Perhaps make the religion lesson optional…as part of a lesson on general persuasion.

    If you take the focus of your blog off of your interests and on to the interests of others, your students will sense it and you will have an easier path forward creating lessons…because your students will be involved.

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