If you want to know how we should innovate education…just ask students

Innovation cannot exist without asking questions. Everything in our schools should be questioned – from the books that go into the classroom library to the quality of the cafeteria food; from the amount of time students spend at recess to our assessment practices and grading system. And who is the best at asking questions? Our students!

My school is thinking about making changes to the schedule next year. A survey was sent to teachers to get their feedback. But, what about the students? Our K-2 counseling teacher decided to get their input. Yesterday, I observed a class of Kindergarten students share what they would like to change about the schedule and why.  Together, they created Pic Collage infographics that will be shared with our principal.

These students knew exactly how the schedule should be – they were just waiting for someone to ask! Of course, we may not be able to fulfill all of their suggestions – but there were definitely many of their ideas that will be considered and applied.

What if...we ask students to share how they envision school? What if…we present them with authentic situations and ask for their opinions? What if…we empower them to actually speak up when they see a problem and offer their solutions?

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2 comments

  1. Love this thought!! What if we asked students??? They are the ones in the “trenches” and know what works and what doesn’t. Plus, they are usually more creative than those of us “stuck in our ways”. Great job!

  2. Hi Jancey,

    This is such an important idea. I’m constantly baffled about educational debates and decisions that go ahead without actually asking the children (and parents too, for that matter). Homework is a classic example. We always assume that parents want it and that kids benefit from it. Have we asked recently?

    Great post!

    Adam

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