Episode 16: Challenging Success to Design Schools for Well-Being
What’s the difference between educating students for the future, and simply “doing school?” Are we designing school communities that foster the development of better adults, or are we clinging to old ideas about content and rigor that no longer serve us well? And what role do parental expectations, higher ed, and societal pressure play in the decisions we make about how schools function?
Guest: Denise Pope
Resources and Expanded Show Notes
In This Episode:
- “Rigor is not the same thing as load…What I see with schools, it's exactly what you're seeing. They say, academic excellence, academic excellence. That's what our parents are sending their kids here for. And that's what we say we're going to promote. And academic excellence can very much be in the definition that, that you and I just set out, around critical thinking, around the skills they need, around teamwork, around cooperation, around weighing really challenging issues. And they need to see that that is not just piling on more stuff. And it's not the traditional way that they've been teaching, which is scary. Change is scary.” (10:10)
- “We're hearing I want my kid to be happy. I want them to be healthy. I want them to be fulfilled. I want them to go on to, you know, be independent and go to college and get a job. And what they say they want for success is not necessarily translated to their kids. So when we ask the kids how they define success, it's often money, grades, test scores, college, popularity.” (16:47)
- “The parents have to do their jobs, but the school has to do their job too. And that's one of the main things we talk to schools about. Less is more. What's going on with your schedule, what's going on with your homework policy. What's going on with the fact that they have to take so many classes at a time, or so many advanced placement or honors things happening at the time, right? Less is more.” (25:34)
- “You've got to fix the relationships happening at school first and foremost. You've got to make sure that kids are sleeping, that they have room for mental health, that they are not going, you know, 24-7 like chickens with their heads cut off. And then when you've created that space of belonging and health and safety, let's go to the next step on Maslow's hierarchy.” (39:09)
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