This is a story about dignity, love, acceptance, and compassion. It is about identity and the small things we can do that go a long way. It presents the importance of what is means to develop compassionate individuals who understand the dignity that exists in every human being, what it looks like to respect and honor that.
First, answer the question yourself: What is the core purpose of publicly funded education in America? Then, ask yourself: Would most Americans agree with you?
There are plenty of students who have coped with failure and adversity from the outset. What's motivating to them is a little honest success. Not more stress.
The sticking point in utilizing research findings to make grand pronouncemnts about how schools should operate, or how teachers should teach? We leave out the most important voice, that of the people doing the actual work, and the ideas they find useful.
Teachers often come away from their tour of Ed Policy World dismayed by the things policy "experts" are saying. Frustrated at being left out of a dialogue where their hard-won practice expertise is undervalued, even scorned. Good news. Diane Ravitch has written a book for them.
Somebody's got to get angry and speak passionately about what's happening in education "reform."
It is an unexpected relief to move past this level of work--scavenging--on to the big questions--who are my students, how do they learn best, what can we do to engage them meaningfully in building a classroom community?
I did appreciate the film's efforts to highlight the intellectual complexity and intense humanity of teaching. But the subtext is troublesome.
Character matters. A lot. Here's where I get off the bandwagon, however: grading students on character as a means of highlighting and developing these critical qualities.
What students want most is to know that they belong somewhere, that they'll be accepted and valued by their classmates. Consistency? The last refuge of the unimaginative.