Goals? Or rewards?

Posted on October 17, 2017


A few more thoughts from the #OpenEd17  having read this blog post about it, which doesn’t really have anything to do with *this* blog post, except for a brief twitter conversation including the idea of a “goal that keeps moving forward” as encompassing education and life and professional development and everything.

I thought of my students and how a huge part of our “soft skills” and “success training” is about SETTING GOALS SETTING GOALS, and that … many of those goals end up being rewards for good behavior.   Then I went out to lunch and figured I’d think about it, but instead, dreamed up a visual and story of a flash drive coming to life when plugged into a 3-d printer and of course its user was pulling it out of the 3D printer (I don’t even know if you put USB drives into 3D printers – details!)   there was a lightning strike or a power surge and … her selfness was absorbed into that USB drive.   After all it was a 128 GB drive!   … and it proceeded to 3D print itself some wings so it could fly around and do good deeds.   Well, either that or I could use the image on my number line to fly up in the positive direction and then dive down into the negatives…

Today I connected that “goals as rewards for good behavior” to  contextualized learning.      “Contextualizing”  can mean focusing on what is relevant to the student especially if the “context”  includes student culture.   On the other hand, I just read   an opinion on Education Week that was old school elitist, arguing that really, anybody who tests into “developmental” in anything should not be allowed into a four year college, because they make it a lousy experience for the others who actually deserve being there. They should all go to community college.   (You know, because they all had equal opportunities in K-12, right?)  They need to be in “their own classes.”   Anybody remember “separate but equal” and how … no, that’s not what actually happens?

That inspires me to see how “contextualization” is a dandy way of turning postsecondary education into “trade school.”   If the only math you learn is math to use for THAT JOB…, then your purpose in my world is to do that job… not to be your full amazing human self…

… if *you* want to know the math for trucking then I’m good with building OER that can be adapted to that or other career options, but … it should open doors into hallways, not corner rooms.

And now, back to my irregularly unscheduled attempts at making a “separated and let’s make this awesome anyway!”  attempt at integer lessons…



Posted in: Uncategorized