08 February 2015

Valuing Focus vs Creativity

Which should we value more in education? Should we have to choose between the two?
Have you ever seen this happen in your classroom? I remember lots of "he's not been on his meds," "they're in the process of changing meds," and "we're hoping the meds will help," conversations with parents and special ed case managers over the years that didn't always end have subsequent results I was hoping for that student.

It's hard to argue that attempting to control a child's hyperactivity or attention deficits is ALWAYS good or ALWAYS bad. While we see Calvin lose his imagination in the frames above, maybe we see his perseverance in problem solving increased. Perhaps because his brain is tuning out some inputs, he finally FINISHES well on a project and what may have otherwise been a serviceable B or C becomes an exceptional talk-about-it-to-everyone-you-know type project.

Are we putting Calvin and his parents in an impossible situation in the first place? Could Calvin's classroom teacher put more of an emphasis on learning through play and discovery? Could his teacher considered other ways for him to demonstrate his learning? (Unless report writing literally was the skill to be assessed - I believe we do still have a responsibility to produce capable writers, even as we provide alternative assessments.).  What happened to Calvin's work in art class after the meds? How elaborately planned and detailed were his creative freewrites?

What are you doing to welcome Calvin AND Hobbes in your classroom? Do you have any success stories from a time you may have welcomed the chaos of ideas that a non-medicated student brought to the classroom? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing!