Friday’s “Food for Thought”

To make sure I blog at least once a week, I’ve decided to start a Friday “Food for Thought” post in which I take quotes that have made me think but not necessarily in enough of a fashion for a whole blog post. So here is today’s first “Food for Thought” blog post:

Food #1

From Larry Ferlazzo’s post on Edutopia called “More Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom Management Tips“:

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely found in one experiment that if people are reminded of their moral values, they are far less likely to cheat. In his study, they were reminded of the Ten Commandments.”

This is all great and fine, but how do we know the moral background of our students. How many of them would actually know the Ten Commandments? I did go so far as to look up studies on percentage of people who know the Ten Commandments and found statistics such as “sixty percent of Americans can’t name five of the Ten Commandments” (USA TODAY) or

A survey by Kelton Research found 80 percent of 1,000 respondents could name the burger’s primary ingredient — two all-beef patties — but less than six in 10 knew the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill.’

  Less than half of respondents — 45 percent — could recall the commandment ‘honor thy father and mother’ but 62 percent knew the Big Mac has pickle.


Bobby and Peter, the least recalled-names from the fictional Brady Bunch family, were remembered by 43 percent of respondents — topping the 34 percent who knew “remember the Sabbath” and 29 percent recalling ‘do not make false idols.’ “ (Reuters)

This worries me if they don’t know this basis for the laws of country and to remind them of their moral values to help them behave better in the classroom.

Food #2

From “The Digital Live of Teens: Code Switching” by Matt Levinson on Edutopia blog: “While kids are able to create their own narrative outside of school, they find themselves having to code switch back to school. In schools, tension arises between digital presentism and linear learning approaches. Essentially, there is a struggle over who controls the narrative — the student or the teacher.”

I had never heard of the term “Code Switching” but lucky for me it was defined in the first paragraph of the article. For me the above statement caught my eye, especially the phrase “there is a struggle over who controls the narrative.” We live in a customizable world, a world in which if we want to build our own shoes we can online or we can build our own sandwich at Subway. So why is school still so structured? Don’t the standards restrict the narrative as well? Should our students narrative end in a test or should their narrative whole grow through a skill set provided by education?

So, now you know what has got me thinking this week. What are your thoughts? What made you think this week?


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