This post is not an in depth opinion on this topic, just a few observations that were triggered by the simple joy of quality learning experiences our third grader had yesterday.
You know it's been a good day at school when you come home from school with a candy dispenser, a ginger bread house and an ecosystem--all products of learning experiences of the day.
The third graders visited the high school yesterday and were engaged in these projects as they worked alongside high school students.
The ecosystem. What an amazing product. The simple joy of planting orange mint leaves in soil that draws water from a subterranean water basin inhabited by a fish. A self-sustaining balanced system. Our neighbor thought it was a molly or a guppy. How fascinating. A learning experience that touches the senses and involves working alongside older mentors from the high school
When learning is fun, when there is visible fruit to the educational process, when working with older learners who can model a quest for knowledge is involved--there is success.
The simple joy of learning is contagious. It came off the bus and is displayed around our house.