Monday, February 8, 2016

Is it cool to care?

I am reading An Ethic of Excellence written by Ron Berger. This is an excellent book on building a strong school culture based on developing positive peer pressure within your school. There are a few questions that really made me think about our school culture.

Is it cool to show an interest in school, learning, and completing homework?

So what is the social norm in our school or your school? It is cool to care? What are we doing to ensure that they feel safe? Not just physically safe, but safe to take risks, safe to care about trying hard. 

How does a student behave in this school in order to fit in?

Where do students feel safe? 

What are the opportunities for the student to contribute, to create, and to be recognized for his or her talents or efforts? 

What motivates a student to care? 

There are many students who feel that school is just not a place that works for them. How do we build a school experience that doesn't alienate or cause resentment? 

Berger shares many thought provoking questions throughout his book. He is a believer in peer feedback and using multiple revisions to improve student work. The video linked below will give you some insight on his work. Take a minute to watch Austin's Butterfly below. 

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