The curious fate of students who find nothing curious in schools

From NM - Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - The core of our dysfunction is the schools are ignoring the most basic principle of learning. It is driven almost entirely by the curiosity of humans and their need to have the tools to satisfy that curiosity. Speaking for myself, curiosity is the one commonality in my life. Over my 61 years it is the currency of my life and the reason I became educated. Public-school life for me was many long years of an anti-curiosity environment (shut up and sit quietly) and I just barely made it to high-school graduation. They kept trying to teach me stuff in which I had no interest. I retained nothing of that forced upon me when I had no interest. A very few public school teachers did engage my curiosity and interest. It was wonderful each time. Throughout my years of public education I insisted that the schools could not teach me anything in which I had no interest. They said they could. They did not. Nor, when I was a public school teacher (what irony), could I teach students who had no interest in my lessons. The only way for me to prevail was to get the students’ curious about my subjects. Otherwise it was the proverbial trying to teach a pig to whistle. They say you should not try to do so since you cannot do it and it only annoys the pig. Read Commentary


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