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Sunday, July 20, 2014

#unrules09 - Sitting through a classroom lecture is not just unnatural for most people, it is painful.

Unschooling Rules 09 is, Sitting through a classroom lecture is not just unnatural for most people, it is painful.
  • Current Scorecard Rating: OMG! Thought-leading breakthrough
The industrial school model of the last few years has mandated students of all ages spend more time sitting through lectures and other classroom situations.  Now, the press is acting as if those people suggesting sitting in classrooms all day is pretty horrible are thought leaders.

On one hand, classrooms are being increasingly understood to be where learning dies.  On the other hand, classrooms meet schools' desire to be more like factories, while MOOCs have experienced a spike of popularity.

Here are some citations challenging the "more is more" model of classrooms:

7/10/2014: Slate: The Body Learns - For years we've been telling kids to sit still and pay attention.  That's all wrong.
  • "For example, Margaret Chan and John Black of Teachers College of Columbia University have shown that physically manipulating an animation of a roller coaster—by sliding the cars up and down the tracks and watching the resulting changes in kinetic and potential energy, as shown in a bar graph—helps students understand the workings of gravity and energy better than static on-screen images and text."
7/8/2014: Washington Post: Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today
  • "Fidgeting is a real problem. It is a strong indicator that children are not getting enough movement throughout the day. We need to fix the underlying issue. Recess times need to be extended and kids should be playing outside as soon as they get home from school. Twenty minutes of movement a day is not enough! They need hours of play outdoors in order to establish a healthy sensory system and to support higher-level attention and learning in the classroom." (Link)
  • "I wasn’t sure if the American approach had ever worked very well. My students in the States had always seemed to drag their feet after about 45 minutes in the classroom."
For the most recent Unschooling Rules scorecard, see: http://unschoolingrules.blogspot.com/search/label/Scorecard