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"They're only 8!"

I was recently talking with a group of third grade teachers in our district.  We were discussing how the social studies book is working out in our classrooms.  Some teachers thought it was great, and others detested it.  One teacher spoke up and said that it was good for developing higher thinking in the students, instead of a multiple choice test or fill-in-the-blank test, where you just have to pick the answer from a list.  


Even though the social studies tests are hard, I agree that they do make you think, and isn't that the point of school anyway?  But before I could state my opinion, another teacher spoke up and said, "Higher thinking?  That's too much to expect from these kids.  They may never be able to do that... They're only eight!"


  I got the feeling that this teacher wasn't just talking about social studies, but about third graders' ability to think in general.  If I had had a frustrometer at that meeting, I think it would have exploded right then and there.    If I had been a third grader sitting in on that meeting, I would have been shocked and offended.  Yeah, you guys are eight years old, but does that mean that you can't use your brains?  You are an incredibly intelligent class, and you have proven that to me so many times already this year.    


What are your thoughts?  Does this teacher's statement offend you?  Do you think that challenges at school make you better learners and thinkers?  Or do you think that we teachers are expecting too much from you third graders, and we should lay off a little bit?  Reply to this blog to make your opinion known!!!  Every opinion counts!  

Last update: 2/22/2008 5:04:49 PM     Comments (0)

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