Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Student/Child is About to Make a Mistake...Teachers/Parents Fix It...What's Wrong with That?

Power to the Learner has a great post: "The Cost of "Keeping Things Moving" in the Classroom.

Are we keeping children from learning problem-solving skills? Are we depriving them from developing confidence to figure things out independently? Are we teaching kids to avoid the challenging activities which might lead to a mistake?

In some cases I think so. This post highlights the quick-fix behaviors which so many parents/teachers (myself included) may exhibit in an effort to make our fast-paced, outcomes-based world run a little smoother in the moment. But what are we doing for the development and long-term well-being of our children? Are they learning consequences of their own actions? Do they really expereince/understand cause and effect?

I know it takes more TIME to allow children to stumble, make a mistake, or fail and figure it out (it can also be painful to witness, especially as a parent)...but isn't the time well spent? In analysis of my own actions, TIME is the motivator. I feel there's not enough of it and maybe this is why, at times, I quickly fix/correct the student "mistakes" to move on to more...more content...more (underdeveloped) lessons...more...more...

Maybe the quantity vs. quality debate applies here? What do you think teachers/parents?

4 comments:

Anthony said...

I liked what the linked post had to say, particularly the parenting link. My question is... Parenting lessons are expected to take time, lifetimes even, but teachers send their children home at the end of the day and they are measured against classrooms with different values. How do we compensate for the time lost in order to keep up?

Paige V. Baggett said...

I think we must do all we can with what time and resources we have. No time for "what if" and "what should be". With that said, the activists among us also simultaneously "fight" for change. I try to be the change I want to see in others by living it...modeling it. If it is effective, others who are able, willing and paying attention may follow. Lead by example.

Lola Solano said...

I really liked the linked post. Being a parent, it is very difficult to watch your children fail. We are told that we have to allow our children to be independent and make mistakes. I try to do this to some extent. My son has lots of homework. He gets a syllabus for every class that has to be signed. We are in charge of making sure all the homework is done. I find that rather funny because it is not teaching him independence. I know getting that signature is teaching responsibility but having me check his homework every night and making sure he did it is not my responsibility, it is his. As I say this, I can tell you truthfully I would keep on top of his homework even if I did not have to sign a syllabus. I am a parent that has to know what is going on in my child's classroom. I want him to be independent to some extent, but I also do not want him to forget to turn in something and receive a detention check for it. He was trying to be very independent the first week of school. He would not let me check his binders. He received math homework over the weekend and he did not do it. He forgot about it because he was not used to getting homework over the weekend. Well, he got his first detention check. His teacher said he nearly fell through his chair. Luckily she was being very lenient that first week of school. Since then he gladly gives me his binders.

Paige V. Baggett said...

I think you speak for many parents Lola...it is that balance we must strike between modeling, helping and giving our children autonomy. We also must consider what's developmentally appropriate. I didn't give my daughters the independence as a kindergartener, that they experience as a college student. Thanks for responding!!