In a content-centered classroom, the emphasis is on the knowledge, not the students. I used to ask myself questions like, “How can I get students interested in social studies, science or math?” And I thought this made me a student-centered or child-centered teacher.
But if the goal of education shifts from a transmission of knowledge to one that fosters passionate world changers we may need to reexamine our intentions. Perhaps a better question is, “What are my students’ talents and how can I foster them?”
Ken Robinson calls it The Element, the place where talent meets passion. Maybe we should start with the low-expectancy students, those who either lack self-confidence or an outward motivation towards academics.
- Can we take the time to pay attention to what they seem good at and interested in?
- Can we show them that we’ve noticed?
- Can we find big and small opportunities for these students to display and hone their talents?
Try it out and let us know how it goes!