Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What Are We Creating?

I have been involved with Odyssey of the Mind for 26 years. It has been quite a passion of mine. I have coached, judged, directed, and served on a state board of directors. The best part of my experience though has been with the kids. We just returned from The World FInals held at Michigan State University last week. Our team place 10th out of 45 and performed extremely well. I am very proud of them.

I do have a couple of observations though that I would like to share and hopefully get some insights and feedback.

I have noticed that this group of 6th graders are extremly afraid to make mistakes. I mean just everyday plain mistakes. They have a really hard time admitting anything when it goes wrong. This translates into their fear of risk taking. When something goes wrong they become extremely upset.

I have also noticed their eagerness to please. They will do anything to make you happy.

I am wondering if it's just this particular group of kids or if there is more to it than that.

My question is this: Could this be a result of all of the testing they have gone through? Could our teachers be emphasising the tests to the point of creating this anxiety I see. I can only imagine the pressure teachers are under to get good test results.

I am just thankful for programs like Odyssey of the Mind and hope it will be able to instill the skills needed to be a creative problem solver.

1 comment:

M.C. said...

These poor kids are going to need medication by the time they hit college. The anxiety levels are not just influenced by their teachers but also by their parents. They want their child to fit into the same mold they were in when they were in school ...20 years before! I would say in the next 10 years there is going to be a HUGE shift in the educational realm. Hopefully that shift will be proactive not reactive!