April 29, 2008

Teaching Students to be Students

"Schools assume that a student will come in, and just know what to do," school psychologist Steve Franklin said. "At Webster, teaching a student how to be a student is really important. We don't expect them to already know how to read, to do math or write. So why aren't we teaching these things, too?"

A worthwhile read, this story about Webster School in San Diego, talks about how a homegrown program that explicitly teaches scholarly behaviors, transformed their school.

"Top achievers, [teachers] found, had mastered a behavioral code that equaled school success. They spoke up in class. They balanced when to speak and when to listen. They turned toward the speaker. Those behaviors -- not their brightness -- separated them from their lower-achieving peers and enabled them to absorb information. If the school explicitly taught students those behaviors, [principal Jennifer] White reasoned, wouldn't they do better?"