Description: The article is about enriching students. The author tells us his own experience on how he incorporate his passions into core classes. Although he finds that grades are important in school he still finds way to pursue his own passion and makes it come true.
This is my guitar. I made it in school because I learned so much along the way. I’ve come to wonder why high school education in general. Before I elaborate on this I like to tell you a little bit more about myself so you can better understand how I’ve come to such an outrageous proposal. I wasn’t always used to the public school method of Education.
Up until fourth grade,I was enrolled in the Montessori School which was cool in many ways. The learning was very self-directed meaning that each of us could focus on doing whatever interested us. All of this sounds incredible on paper. It’s a lot harder to successfully implement in actuality. So fourth grade I made the switch to public school. In the beginning it was a difficult transition from an academic perspective.
I remember on the first day I was pulled aside to take a placement test. I remember having no idea what I was doing. There are problem that I had never been really exposed to testing. The Montessori educational system was so focused on conceptual learning. I had this drastic transition to test. Fortunately I adjusted quickly.
The problem was that my fate had already been decided by my poor performance on that first placement test. So what did I learn from that experience is that grades are extremely important in this new system of learning. They monitor how smart you are,how hard-working you are and judge whether or not you’ll be successful later on in life. So that’s why grades are many times our only incentive to try in a class.
I’m going to go back to the beginning of my talk. Do you remember when I mentioned briefly guitar making class? If you don’t I don’t blame you it probably seems like ages ago. That class is an exception because from the first day it was made known to us that as long as we finished our guitar by the end of the semester,we would get an A+ in the class. Now that seems like a difficult task. It isn’t.
If you make the guitar as basic as possible,you can easily finish it in the span of a semester. However none of us tried to make our guitars as basic as possible because we knew the more effort we put into them the more special they’d be at the end. In any other class though,if a teacher were to tell us listen this is the easiest way to get an A+ in my class,the least amount of effort you’d probably do as they say because that’s the main incentive to get the highest grade possible with the least amount of effort.
I don’t feel that is the best learning experience. I think that in order to have the most enriching learning experience must have a combination of passion with core curriculum. In essence my proposal is blending the passion oriented Montessori school system with the structure of public school system.
You’re probably thinking that sounds great. How can you incorporate your passions into core classes such as history,math,English,science? I’ll show you it’s not that hard. I’m passionate about music for example. I can apply music to math by studying time signatures. I can apply it to science by studying instruments and how they’re able to produce the sounds that they produce. I can apply it to history by studying composers and how events from their respective time periods may have shaped their pieces. Lastly I can compare it to English. I can apply it to English by writing a song.
I did end up writing a song for the writing workshop project with two friends of mine,George importer. The three of us have a passion for music so we decided why not apply that to English class. Those of you familiar with rhetorical devices. You can pay close attention to the lyrics which will also be posted on the screen. You’ll find examples of juxtaposition,parallelism,illusion. I’m going to finish by playing the song here are the lyrics.
Enriching Our Learning Experiences By Tapping Into Our Passions Rafael Swerdlin Tedxlfhs