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Monday, January 19, 2009

Define "Learning Activity"

Last week, I heard a news station report that local schools had decided not to show footage of tomorrow's inauguration because they didn't want to take children away from important "learning activities".

Hmmm.... I'd really like know how the school system defines learning activities. Do learning activities have to come from cookie cutter lesson plans handed down from the district? Do learning activities have to include worksheets and quizzes? Is it only a learning activity if it contributes to performance on standardized tests? Can our school system's poor performance be attributed to its narrow definition of learning activities?

Watching any presidential inauguration presents abundant opportunities for learning. Even more so when a country with a history like ours is inaugurating its first African-American president.

In a country as politically divided as ours, I could respect a decision to let parents decide whether or not they want their children to watch the inauguration. However, I'd still like the schools to rethink their definition of learning activities.

The world is a wonderful classroom, and current events are great teaching tools. There are many learning activities that don't come from the pages of a textbook. That's another reason we home school.

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Renee said...

Wow, that is crazy! History in the making and they are going to miss it. How sad.

I love your Blog!

Brenda said...

I went to half day kindergarten back in the 70's and I vividly remember watching coverage of incoming President Carter at school. When I got home, my mom was ironing and watching coverage on TV and I said, "Oh, we saw that at school!"

It only happens every 4 years and that is a long time in the life of a child!

Luke said...

"There are many learning activities that don't come from the pages of a textbook."

So, so true [smile].


CookinsForMe said...

That's one reason I homeschooled my sons, also. I remember well when Oliver North was going through his ordeal and a local radio show had him on as a guest. My oldest, who about 8 and a fan of North's, was able to call in to the show and talk to North. My son was just thrilled to talk to the man and North handled my son's questions beautifully. Had he been in a 'regular' school my son would have missed that opportunity. "Learning activities" indeed!