from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Last week, lots of people were outraged that a 14yo kid was handcuffed and arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school. Some folks tried to point out that such extracurricular projects should never be brought to school… because we live in a “day and age” of terror or something. That suggestion — that kids need to somehow restrict their enthusiasm for trying to impress their teachers with something they’ve made outside of school — is awful. The education system is often faulted for failing to improve test scores and leaving more than “no children” behind. However, Ahmed Mohamed’s experience highlights that schools might want to start thinking more about how to identify talent and nurture skills that are valuable beyond taking tests.
- High-ability students have not been well-studied to determine how they might best be served by teachers. Should they be allowed to skip grades or just specific classes? Should teachers give them extra projects? Does class size matter for high-ability students? It’s a shame that many gifted children are overlooked — or that they are recognized (hopefully in a positive way), but that no one is certain quite what to do with them. [url]
- An 11yo boy in a gifted-and-talented program in Virginia brought a leaf to school — that was mistakenly thought to be a marijuana leaf. The result was charges of marijuana possession in juvenile court, a year of suspension, and probation terms that mean he’ll be searched for drugs every day, twice a day. Quite a punishment. For. A. Leaf. [url]
- Longer school days and more school days in a year seem like good ideas — but making kids stay in school longer isn’t necessarily a good thing. Learning is generally not taught as a joyful, fun thing to do, but a chore — and making that chore more difficult and tiring isn’t a recipe for creating a society of lifetime learners. [url]
- In 2013, a then-16yo Kiera Wilmot brought a science fair project to her high school in Florida. It wasn’t a particularly novel experiment, mixing toilet bowl cleaner (some hydrochloric acid) with aluminum foil. However, the reaction (excuse the chemistry pun) was far greater than the smoke and gases. Wilmot was arrested, charged with two felonies, and had to attend a different school for troubled teens. Thankfully, she was allowed back to her original school for her senior year, and she’s moved on to college without a criminal record following her. But how about we try not to jump to the worst conclusions about kids, especially when all the evidence points to nerdy hobbies that should be encouraged? [url]
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