Yesterday, my daughter, a high school junior, came home from her second day of school disappointed and upset because she had just learned that all of her projects in the history class that she had been looking forward to were going to be group projects. Her feelings on the subject were so strong that I asked her to write a guest post for Minds in Bloom.
by Lucy Lynette
grade history class. I couldn’t tell you a single thing we were taught or put
my finger on any of the events, dates, or people we studied; what I can
remember though is the educational horror that was “cooperative learning”
this teaching method but for those of you outside the educational world, let me
give you a little overview: the concept is to get kids to interact with their peers and
think outside the box by giving them countless group activities and constantly
putting them in front of the class to do “creative presentations.” Sounds
great, right? Wrong. Let me give you a student perspective.
mash up of kids from all different backgrounds and values. Now personally,
education is very important to me and my schooling means a lot. Not everyone
feels that way and before, that was all fine and dandy. They did their thing
and I did mine. But then they started this cooperative learning stuff and
suddenly my grade depends on the people that sit next to me; aka a bleach
blonde vanity queen and a clueless stoner that probably can’t find the right side
of his marijuana pipe half the time.
group, not all people work well with other people because they have a specific
learning style that works for them. As for me, I have ADHD and am attempting to
attend school unmedicated [Mom’s note: this is being done for very good reasons and with a plan in place]. This is not easy and takes a large amount of
structure and self-analysis. I have a specific way I need to operate to
learn or I get distracted and cannot finish my work. This strategy does not in
fact include scrambling to organize a last minute “creative presentation” we
have to do in front of the class at the end of the period. It’s horrible and
stressful and humiliating and distracting and all together terrible for anyone
actually trying to learn something. Also because of my ADHD, I sometimes cannot
gain focus on a class activity and I have to step back and slow down and
carefully think everything through. This is not and option while in the
cooperative learning program because everything is in a group and must be
completed by the end of the period so that your teacher can shove you in front of
the class to present it.
and all that jazz but I hated that class. I struggled through it and dreaded it
everyday. The cooperative system ruined the content and distracted from my
disability struggling with the content. I got straight As that years and am NOT
the only one who feels this way.