We know that all students do not take in and digest information the same way. Some are visual learners, some are kinesthetic learners; they learn by doing. Some students need more time to process information that’s been presented to them. Others hear something once, and they don’t forget.
There are also many ways that students express what they know. Some students are writers, artists, analytical thinkers, craftspeople, and so forth.
What we want most of all is for our students to have opportunities to both develop their strengths and to develop the areas where they have challenges.
The point is that each student is unique. They each have wonderful gifts and areas of challenge.
We know that we all learn best when we are inspired and engaged in our learning. The greatest gift we can give students is the opportunity to develop their interests and passions and let them explore those areas intensely. As they are exposed to more educational experiences, their interests expand and they pursue new areas. Partnering students with experts in their fields of interests, and having those adults mentor a student creates powerful learning experiences. Learning that doesn’t just last until the test is taken, but for a lifetime.
We may all have trouble agreeing on what information we want students to know, but we all agree that we want students to be able to think creatively, analytically & critically, be able to problem solve, work collaboratively, plan and manage their time effectively, be self-motivated and grow as human beings.
The problem is that when we educate students with a “one size fits all” approach then we risk some students being bored and others feeling alienated.
If we focus so hard on teaching all students to climb the tree, then there’s a distinct possibility they’ll miss the magic of the forest, mountains, and beyond.