Since my last post I have been thinking about Gladwell's comment about the power of Feedback. This is something that I strongly believe that we don't do enough of in our classrooms and schools. The rise of video game playing should show how much human beings like immediate feedback and interaction. People like to interact and get a response.
I was on a tour of DC the other day and our tour guide told us something that really struck me:
"One of the reasons for The Mall in DC is to provide a space for demonstrations"
First of all, what a forward thinking idea, that those that founded the city that is our center of government would not just welcome the voice of its people - it would provide a space for the voices of all. When we look at the current events in Iran we can see how quickly change can be thwarted by stopping demonstrations. By removing a place for people to express their beliefs and ideas. By scaring people from sharing what they need.
Think of the powerful events in American history that have happened in this space - like these two from opposite sides of the mall:
How many of our classrooms have a place for demonstrations? How many allow student voice?
Gladwell expressed the need for feedback to our kids. That we give them the direct indivisual feedback that they need to learn and grow.
I think the communication the other way is more important. We need to create classrooms that allow for immediate feedback to the teacher. Our teachers need to create places (physical or virtual) where students can share their needs to their classroom leaders without fear.
How do we build a space for student voice?