logo
Community Members: Log In / Join Us
      

Jan Resseger’s Learning Story

My primary school in an upwardly mobile neighborhood of a small Western town in the early 1950s was new and clean. The floor was vinyl, the walls a pale pastel. Dim round ceiling lights produced what was said to be the correct amount of light without glare. Desks in rows, we were arranged in alphabetical order. Paragraph by paragraph we read aloud from basic text books cleaned of excitement and controversy. Work completed, were were allowed to read the faded orange biographies on a shelf at the back of the room — Louisa Alcott, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, George Washington Carver, Henry Clay. School was one of the places I learned the virtues of compliance and obedience, what most families expected of white, middle class American girls in that era. My classrooms represented the values of my town. Maybe this is the reason I pay a lot of attention to the physical space in the schools I visit. At one time I assumed that school buildings that appealed to the imagination, that sparked curiosity and intellectual rigor were settings for the education of the wealthy, but I now know that is not true. At Chicago’s Harold Washington Elementary School, hallways display

Are We Here Yet?

When we are driving for more than 15 minutes, Jude, my four year old, will inevitably ask me, “Are we here yet?” I always say, “yes, we are right here.” After a few seconds more driving, I will say, “Oh, and now we are right….HERE.” He gets the joke and then asks me if we are “there” yet instead. But we are never “there”- we are always here. When I was a kid, there were hardly any kids I knew who went to pre-school. Kindergarten was meant as the transition to grade school. In Kindergarten we played a lot, did art, music, and had naps. We also learned things like colors, numbers, the alphabet, and shapes. Now, most kids I know are in pre-school. Children are expected to come prepared for Kindergarten because it is more challenging and academic. Despite much research on the importance of play, It is actually challenging to find a pre-school that is play-based and not focused on preparing children for Kindergarten. In Second Grade there is already talk about preparing for the CSAP test (Colorado Student Assessment Program) that comes toward the end of Third Grade. There are numerous complaints from parents and teachers that education

© 2018 Faces of Learning
Website by AndiSites.   |  Go back to top ↑