Students Answer the Question: What Should School Be Like?

Group of cheerful students looking at the camera.

Recently, I asked students in my class to blog about what they think school should look like. The following bullets attempt to summarize what students believe school should be like.  The students I asked are 9th graders, generally at an honors level. I tried to capture as many ideas as best I could. Many ideas deal with teaching and learning, while some ideas address other topics.  Eye-opening to say the least!

  1. School should provide real-world skills
  2. Tasks should be authentic as opposed to a test
  3. School should be focused on learning not testing
  4. There should be choice for students to study what they want
  5. School should work to fix real-world problems (Kohn anyone?)
  6. High school should start later (they researched this!)
  7. Seating should be comfortable and variable
  8. Education should be personal and based on interests
  9. There should be more physical activity as part of class, but no more gym
  10. There should be room to be creative in many ways
  11. School should be fun
  12. Focus on learning, not grades and tests (and worksheets—many mentioned worksheets)– so you can make mistakes that won’t hurt you
  13. There should be less homework because how can we be involved in activities (like everyone tells us) when we have hours of homework every night?
  14. School should help you be the best person you can be
  15. There should be more interactive and engaging activities in class that involve discussion

I should also note that almost every student talked about the disconnect between standardized testing, most classroom tests, and the stress and strife caused by both. They stated that this doesn’t really relate to learning.

I learned a lot, I hope you did too!

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