As teachers we like to talk about helping kids achieve “DOK” (It means Depth of knowledge, but we love our jargon). School doesn't allow it to happen. How often have you become frustrated with someone because they just couldn’t see your point of view? How often has someone felt the same about you? If you’ve somehow avoided this type of confrontation during this election cycle, I applaud you. In an era where “not the other candidate” is the driving force behind our presidential campaigns, it’s inevitable that campaigns will use fear of the other person to gain your support. Because, the thing is, we don’t often think too far beyond our own thoughts, needs, and especially our emotions.
In school, how often we simply ask children to act out of self-preservation and self-gratification.
“Do your work or you’ll get an F.”
“Get an A and you’ll make the Principal’s list!”
We ask children to read for the sole purpose of assessments, formative, summative, or otherwise. Do we ever give children more than hypothetical realities to deal with in math? Do we then put undue pressure on parents to back us unquestioningly as we push this system of self-preservation/gratification on the children? Is it any wonder that we've all grown up unwilling to see the world beyond the tiny little pockets in which we each exist?