Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What's Your Sign?

Author Marc Prensky cares deeply about finding quick, simple ways to improve education.  In his recent article, Simple Changes in Current Practices May Save Our Schools, he lists several changes in classrooms that would be simple solutions effecting immediate change.  The first, relating to student passions, is something that those practicing service-learning methodology do well and do often----not just on the first day of school.  Prensky notes that "once teachers know their students’ passions, they can group them by their interests, give them differentiated assignments, and address them with different, more relevant approaches."

Get to know your students!  The first step in implementing quality service-learning projects is to investigate the community---and "community" begins in the classroom.  Use interest inventories and talent surveys to determine your students' passions.  Allow students to gravitate toward aspects of a project that spark their interest and make them want to participate.  Doing so will send the important message that they have something of value to contribute to the classroom community and the world at large.

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