Rocketship: Redesigning Children
Rocketship Academy's blog recently ran a piece by one of their teachers that really captures some critical problems with their entire approach to education. Step One, it suggests, is to get children to not behave like children.
Kindergartners Conquering Personalized “Quests” Learn To Love Reading was contributed by Lauren Berry, who has a solid modern charter background-- after graduating from USC with BA in English Language and Literature in 2013, she put in two years with Teach For America at Rocketship Academy, then moved up to Lead Teacher last year before becoming a Model Teacher for Rocketship just last month.
Berry is here primarily to plug eSpark, a computerized individualized personalized instruction program, aka one of the vendors set up to go after the Competency Based Education market. We could talk aboutwhat's wrong with that approach, and in particular could address the idea of delivering education via tablet to five year old children. But first let's look at some other problematic assumptions here, visible from her very first paragraph.
Anyone who’s worked to teach kindergarteners how to read knows that it can be a slippery challenge. Their squirmy bodies are full of energy, which can make it difficult for them to sit still through reading instruction, let alone through an entire text that they’re still struggling to understand.
This gives me an instant flashback to the words of Yong Zhao-- we are worried about getting CURMUDGUCATION: Rocketship: Redesigning Children: