On the new Carnival of Education, hosted by The Ed Wonks, EdPol’s Sinead, a Teach for America math teacher at a Chicago public school, responds to a story on math and science teaching by asking if it always has to be fun, fun, fun.
The researchers videotaped and analyzed eighth grade science classes in four high performing countries around the world and in the United States. The analysis showed that teachers in the United States spend a lot more time trying to make science “fun” and “entertaining” for the students. They try to motivate students with puzzles, games or experiments that are not directly correlated with the science standards, but that do keep students engaged. The study also found that American students were not held to a high expectation to take their learning into their own hands.
As an educator who is struggling to keep my students motivated to learn math and science, I can understand why American teachers are struggling. The students do not seem to have the drive to learn for the sake of learning, and instead rely on the teacher to entertain them.
At Mentor Matters, Ms. Ris worries about an emotionally disabled student who was expelled for attacking a teacher. It’s not fun everywhere.