People often seem a bit puzzled by how strongly I feel about the need to change what and how we teach our kids. They think I'm being a bit over zealous when I condemn standardized testing, grades, and passive, siloed learning that teaches kids to equate mistakes with failure . So I decide to post some of the questions I have been asked and my answers here. Feel free to send yours to JenaBall@CritterKin.com.
What is something that should be taught in school and isn't?
Social-emotional skills. Without them kids don’t know how to navigate the world. Also, despite our edcuation system’s focus on memorization and testing (treating kids’ brains like computer hard drives), emotions play a critical role in what and how kids learn. Feeling judged - like they are being compared to and in competition with others - and being afraid to fail all trigger stress and the flight fight response in the emotional center of the brain. When this happens, cognitive functioning shuts down, making it very difficult to learn. And yes, this is kind of a pet peeve of mine. I’ve been working to address this issue in my books and PBL programs for years. Great question. Thanks for asking.