Friday, May 5, 2006


I am having a great deal of trouble motivating my students to achieve. i was reading an article called "Transforming Practice in Urban Schools". (Ed. Leadership, March 2006) It highlights issues in schools, teachers who rarely discuss 'the relationship amon instructional stsrategies, student characgteristics, and learning outcomes."
The author speaks of low-income students who
-don't have experiences
-do not appreciate their own value
-do not believe they fit into the system
-don't know where they are suppossed to be in life
-life does not have value
-they do not have goals.
While this appears to apply in urban schools, I can see, in my rural setting, as in other schools, that some of the same needs are evidenced here. Students who have role models, such as rappers and gang members, they get a lot of press time and airtime, as well as cyberspace space.

It is difficult to fight such images in the classroom. We have to teach in 10 minute soundbytes, if that.

The author says 'urban schools need to expect teacher to collectively assume responibility for making sure all students learn.'

I am not sure how we do that! We fight the aforementioned images, family history, past practices and a culture and ethic in schools that appears not to focus on critical literacy, numeracy, people handling skills, technology skills or lifeskills, but on managing behaviour. So much energy is driven in this regard. WE must critically reflect on our purpose in schools.

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