Friday, April 22, 2005

You Can Lead a Horse to Water....

....but you can't make him learn. NCLB holds teachers and schools accountable for a child's learning. Which is a good thing ...up to a point. Children are not chickens in a factory farm. You feed the chickens and they lay eggs. It's what chickens do.

When it comes to learning things are not quite so cut and dried. Not all children are willing, eager and motivated to learn. With some it's the result of their home life, there is so much going on that learning takes a back seat. It's impossible for a child to give serious thought to an upcoming test on the Founding Fathers when he's got a Dad in jail and a Mom in rehab and he's living with grandmother and the electricity just got turned off for non payment of bill.

With other children it's the result of their parents. These kids have never been held accountable for anything and in their parents eyes they can do no wrong. Everything, no matter how big, no matter how small is always the school and the teachers fault. Teacher demands child do their homework. Parents demand the child be moved to another class because the teacher is "mean". Child is failing and the school wants to retain him. Parents pick up and move to another school. Child steals from the class treasure box. Parents claim "he's just a child, he didn't know any better". Ginny, over at A Series of Inconsequential Events has an excellent example of this kind of parent.

But there are others, who have concerned parents who have tried everything, children are totally capable, decent IQ, no learning disability who just don't want to put forth the effort. They just plain don't care, have no pride in finished product and would rather do nothing. They have no inner drive to succeed or achieve and have no pride in their work or their finished product.

Look around your workplace. You've got the grown up versions of the kids who don't care. It's easy to spot them. I bet you can find someone who hides in their cubicle and plays solitaire on their computer all day. What about the woman who calls in sick one Friday per month? There is the guy down the hall who seems to have a excess number of dead relatives with funerals in far flung states. The young girl who takes 2 hour lunches several times a week. The colleague on the team who never seems to pull their weight. The guy who does just enough to get by and not one bit more.

How much you want to bet that they were the kids who just didn't care when they were in school? Their boss can't motivate them and I'm certain their teachers and parents couldn't either.

1 comment:

Linda said...

The question that next needs to be asked is, "*why* don't they care?" Is it something just intrinsically wrong with the child? Or is it that there's no reason for them to care about learning something that isn't interesting to them and isn't relevant to their lives, other than because others want them to, and that in itself just isn't enough to motivate?