Responses to SWBT Podcast

This week, we will listen to Will Richardson interviewed on the SWBT (So We've Been Thinking) podcast.

Will is a former secondary school educator who has become a proponent for innovative, student-centered education. And, as I will mention in class, he had a profound impact on my development as a teacher.

In this episode, he discusses: What should schools look like today & how can schools create environments that support learners in a modern, connected and information rich world?

Once you have listened to this episode, please write a response informed by these guiding questions:

1. What did you think about Will's conception of schools and learning?

2. What, if anything, really got your attention? Why?

3. What surprised you?

4. If you had a chance to ask Will questions, what would they be?

Now, it's time for you to participate in the discussion. Be bold!

    • Allison Bratt

      By Allison Bratt

      I’ve never listened to podcasts until this semester because both of my teach classes use them and I really starting to enjoy them.

      Personally, I can’t recall the things I was forced to know. I can remember the things I enjoyed. For example in my teach class I had last semester, my professor would talk to us and we would have large class discussions. There was minimal reading and other work assigned but the extra work wasn’t needed. We learned and we were engaged in class. In my other teach class, my professor assigns a lot of busy work so I just do it get the work done rather than completing it for learning. With this being said, I completely agree with Will stated and that children are learning to do school rather than to learn.

      I found it really interesting to hear his philosophy on how teachers should teach their students. Teachers should teach each of their students as developing learners rather than just teaching the material. One of the best teachers I’ve ever had used to give these “mom talks.” It was basically life lessons that would develop us as people outside of the classroom.

      I was really surprised when Will began to discussed common sense. I have to agree with him. Going back to one of his main points, I think that students focus on passing school rather than understanding the knowledge. Common sense is not something that can be taught but I feel like it can be acquired over a period of time.

      If I had the opportunity to meet Will, I would ask him for advice that I could use with my career in the future. I would also be interested in the tactics he uses for his own classrooms. What were tactics were most effective?

       

      • Vilmarie Feliciano

        By Vilmarie Feliciano

        1. What did you think about Will's conception of schools and learning?

        I think that Will’s concept of schools and learning is a very different approach as opposed to what I have personally seen in the schools as a student and teacher. I read my classmates’ responses and they all seemed to think that this approach is a great idea. Will kept getting asked what is the “closest” thing a teacher could do to reach his high standards. To me, he had a difficult time coming up with his own answer. He started describing the Mt. Vernon Presbyterian school in Georgia and the other one in Australia as examples. The only thing that I understood from this is that in order for a school to be successful in teaching and how students can be more successful in the learning development is to have everyone on the same page. Everyone should come together to put together a goal--a vision for the school. I think that this is already an idea that’s been out there. Will did bring up something that I agree with though. It’s like the schools after a while lose that vision. People forget what they’re doing and end up lost. There’s no communication with the teachers that teach in the same building, there’s no communication with the parents. I don’t think that it’s possible to reach this level of perfection that he’s pointing towards. I do think that it will be difficult to achieve this because so many unexpected things get in the way of a goal. Even if you have something in mind, things constantly change.

        2. What, if anything, really got your attention? Why?

        Will mentioned that there was an “incoherence” in the goals and practices among teachers and parents. This was something that caught my attention because I think that teachers are so caught up with following the curriculum of schools that they pay less attention to what their purpose is. I mean we all know that they’re there to teach students the material. But I truly believe that there’s more to it than just a paycheck. I think if you look at it as an opportunity to inspire your students to be better, to strive for what they want and to somehow tie that into the material, will truly impact students more than just receiving a grade. I think this alignment could be found in Parent teacher conferences, because there--the parents can share what they want to see their child do and how they can work together to help the student.

        3. What surprised you?

        The fact that people actually enjoyed this podcast. I’m NOT saying that I disagree with the guy but I think that his standards are set way too high. It’s really difficult in my opinion to change a system that’s been used for years.

        4. If you had a chance to ask Will questions, what would they be?

        If you’re so passionate about how your concept can change schools, then why did you have so much trouble coming up with examples that can support your argument?

         

        Coming from a guy who has had 40 years of education experience, I’d expect him to elaborate more…

         

        • Tara Thornton

          By Tara Thornton

          1. I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast and the presentation of the information. The speaker was well informed, articulate, and his words flowed well. I don’t typically enjoy podcasts, but this one had my interest from start to finish. 
          2. Will’s point of how students are doing their work to get good grades and move on with coursework instead of actually caring about learning was not only interesting but relatable to myself. I more often than not find myself forgetting all information learned after a class is finished, or even a test. As students, I believe we are conditioned to focus so heavily on getting a good grade, we forget we are there to actually learn, grow, and retain information.
          3. I was surprised at how quick Will was to point out the imperfections in the education system. These things were brought up rather quickly, and bluntly. It is sometimes difficult to hear of these things, and further on discuss them, because no one wants to admit the field they are entering is imperfect.
           4. If I had the opportunity to meet Will, I think I would ask him, if he had a choice, what would he do differently? I am a big fan of learning from mistakes, and sometimes it’s nice to learn from other people’s rather than your own. 

           

          • Sukh Singh

            By Sukh Singh

            What did you think about Will's conception of schools and learning?

            1. I think Will’s conception of schools and learning is important to consider. He thinks that kids have just figured out how to “do school” and they are not learning or retaining knowledge. He also believes that grades in the face is not an effective motivational tool for them to actually learning. I agree when he says that people want to hear pleasant lies and not the honest truth. I also agree that we need to equip students with agencies which teach them how to learn, instead of just teaching them to memorize things or just for the tests. The ability to learn is very important.   

            What, if anything, really got your attention? Why?

            1. Grade/age level grouping is something I never really thought about until I listened to this talk. I assumed the structure of school, which has been set forever now, was based on how kids develop. Additionally, I liked the part where he states that the model teacher should be a model learner as well. People not having common sense got my attention because I chuckled at how he described it.

            What surprised you?

            1. The thing that surprised me in this talk was when Will was saying he’s not into innovation. He explains though, that innovation is too focused on technology incorporation. That doesn’t mean that students are learning better.

            If you had a chance to ask Will questions, what would they be?

            1. I would ask Will to come into our classroom and work with school of education students to share his ideals in real time. I would ask him for a blueprint for classroom space too.
            • Michael Demetroules

              By Michael Demetroules

              What did you think about Will's conception of schools and learning?

              I think Will’s conception of schools and learning is a very bold idea. I don't think many people would have the guts to go against the ideals the education system as set forth the way he has. I highly agree that in today's society kids are just learning to get the grade and not retaining any of the knowledge they just studied. In the long run it should be more important to retain the knowledge than just too remember it for a test and completely forget it. I agree that grades are not an effective tool on boosting students motivation to learn. I believe it can have the exact opposite effect on some students. Instead of getting a poor grade on a test and wanting to excel and do better on the next test. Some may succumb to this failure and dig themselves into a deeper hole.

              What, if anything, really got your attention? Why?

              The idea of grouping students at their age level does not fit in todays society. Students should be group together based on their level on education. This effectively makes sure that every students is learning at a level that is sufficient for them. It also make sure that students are prepared to go on to the next level of education.

              What surprised you?

              I agreed that incorporating technology into the classroom may sound good to parents but in turn does not mean that the technology is benefiting these students.

              If you had a chance to ask Will questions, what would they be?

              I would ask him what his ideal school would look like. How many different grade levels throughout the school, the student to teacher ratio. The length of the classes. The length of the school day. Finally the style of the curriculum

               

            TCH 215 Spring 2019

            TCH 215 Spring 2019

            This is the online home for TCH 215 for Spring 2019.