Sunday, April 24, 2005

what are our questions, part two

Several people have given me ideas about things they'd like to hear the students' responses to. I made a list of the ideas and then grouped them. I'm thinking that I could give my students the grouped questions and ask them to attempt, in writing (essayistically), to give me their thoughts about each group of questions, without answering each question per se. Here are the groupings and the questions:

Expectations:
what do you want and expect from your education?
what do you value about education?
why have you continued to go to school when so many others have dropped out?
what do you believe you should be learning about in school? do you believe in what society wants you to learn about or do you have a differrent idea? what could you learn in school that would make a more practical difference in your lives in the real world?
what do you wish for?
do you long to be educated?
do you believe you can be educated?

Past Education:
what were your educational highs and lows? (attempt to connect what was happening in your life at the time in an effort to perhaps understand how they affected each other)
what went wrong in your education?
what went right in your education?
is there an individual or more who were instrumental in encouraging you to persevere?
be honest about your reading skills, lack of, wheatever, and what went wrong? tell me about your experience with reading.
what are your feelings about your past education?

Education, General
what do you think it means to be educated?
how much value do you place on education?
who are/were your role models?
how do you define the term "education"? what does it mean to you to be educated? is this a good thing or a bad thing or what kind of thing is this?
do you think it is natural to want to learn about the world? do you remember when you loved learning? do you still? do you remember or know what happened?

Teachers:
what do you think teachers who teach in urban schools should know (about society, about the community, about education, about psychology, about life on the streets, about you?) before stepping into your classrooms?
what advice would you give to a teacher who wants to teach in your school?
what one thing do you believe you have taught teachers in the past? education isn't a one-way street and teachers are constantly learning. what do you believe you have taught me?

Writing:
what are your feelings about writing? do you want to write? do you like to? what frustrates you or stops you?


I have to get them to do this either this week or on the day of the exam, which is the Monday after this. Part of me wants to give them several days to work on it, maybe to even include some time to discuss the questions before they write.
Another thing is that I want to tell them that I'm working on a book and that I want their honest responses so I can represent them properly in the book. What do you think about that?

Thank you for your help --

Melanie


3 Comments:

Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

I like the idea of talking to them about it ahead of time and giving them time to think discuss and think some more and then write. It seems like you would naturally include an explanation of what you planned to do with the essays (the book) as part of that discussion. You might offer them the option of NOT having their responses included in the book -- but I'm pretty sure no one would take you up on it.

I'd bet that the more honest you are with them, the more honest they will be.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

I love how you have grouped the questions as a whole, but the questions about writing could be more tied into the "education" focus of the paper. The questions you have proposed about writing are strong, but what about adding the following question(s) in order to tie the writing portion in better with the overall theme of the paper:
- What role does/ has writing played in your education thus far in life?
- Do role do you believe writing will play in your life after you have finished high school?
- What role do you believe writing plays in education?
- What role SHOULD writing play in education (elementary, middle-school, high-school, college/ beyond)?
- How will you continue to use what you have learned about writing after you graduate high school?

I think you should make it their final exam (if that is legal at your school). Give it to them one week before their final is due and give them time in class to work on it. Then, if possible, find a way for them to type up their responses and give it to you (schedule library time during their final exam period maybe?). Give them something they can take with them that summarizes the last 12 years of their "public education".

I love your questions and to be perfectly honest, I want to answer them -- maybe post them in my blog (giving you credit and explaining where I got the question from) or write them out in my own personal pen-paper journal.

I love them and they make me think about education. I think they are questions that education majors should answer as part of their curriculum requirement and I believe it would help future teachers learn more about themselves before they enter the classroom. I would really like to pass these questions on to some professors at my college in the education department.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

I think you should ask question like:

What sound do you hate?
What sound do you love?

What profession, other than your own, would you like attempt.

;-) Just kidding. Your questions just made me think of the fellow from "The Actor's Studio", to which I'm addicted.

6:35 PM  

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