"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." Hamlet, Act 2, scene 2, 193–206
Some articles that reflect the philosophical approach to classroom instruction:
The North Salem Central School District Mission is to:
Engage students to continuously learn, question, define
and solve problems through critical and creative thinking...
To this end, we approach curricular objectives as problems to be solved, and traditional curriculum units and assessments become problem solving tasks (PSTs). For more information on the Mission and the Cycle of Problem Solving, along with links to articles and research that support our emphasis on Creative and Critical Thinking in 21st century education, visit the North Salem Central School District Mission web page.
There is a collection of professional articles and videos at left, but I think this authentic video of a frustrated high school student from Duncanville, Texas sums it up pretty well. The first step to achieving his crazy, rebellious, utopian ideal for which he was asked to leave class? Unplug the copy machine.
The video at left was posted on Tumblr. The student is clearly frustrated with the pedagogical approach of the classroom teacher. I think many students feel frustrated at times by the endless stream of content-driven rote tasks-- packets and chapter questions and memorization tasks and summative assessments (quizzes and tests for which the primary goal is to measure progress rather than instruct). I know my own kids, even at their young age, feel that way at times.
This is why we do what we do in North Salem--formative assessments that allow for the adjustment of understanding in real time (e.g., test debate/test analysis; essay revisions; sharing and reflecting on writing weekly)--and why NSHS has authentic experiential programs like the OPTIONS internship program, and why the District continues to promote its Mission to "engage" students by challenging them to use creative and critical thinking skills to solve problems, and why the Common Core, despite its arguably flawed premiere, is a philosophical breath of fresh air.
Perhaps this young man could have expressed his frustration in a more mature way; perhaps the teacher could have used his outburst as a "teachable moment," an opportunity engage students in a conversation about why what they're doing is meaningful; perhaps if we had more context, we might view the situation differently.
Regardless, I hope you've never felt as frustrated in your classes as this young man feels in his.
Check out Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk on Creative Thinking and Public Education: