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Jim Hartsell

Formerly in education, currently a writer and community volunteer.

I am good at giving a damn.

Corryton, TN, USA


  • Jim Hartsell commented on something to do

    Get Schools to Teach Outside the Textbook




    Jim Hartsell10 months ago

    From a different perspective -
    When I saw "Teach outside the textbook", I thought immediately of my years in the classroom. I had what I consider my greatest successes when we were able to rekindle the curiosity spark that the traditional curriculum tends to smother. That meant closing the textbook and doing activities that the students thought were just games, but actually required some pretty high level thinking on their part. Once they began to remember how to ask questions and look for (sometimes not at all obvious) connections among the pieces of information they were gathering, the pleasure of discovery became rewarding in its own right. Administrators and other educators who happened by were amazed. By the way, these were "special needs" teenagers who weren't supposed to be able to do what they were doing.
    The only thing I did was open the door. I didn't tell them they had to think; I just tried not to get in the way. They took care of the rest.
    I was very fortunate to have administrators in the different settings where I worked who allowed me to do this. It wasn't exactly part of the curriculum, and any one of them could have shut me down. The fact that they didn't speaks well for them.

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