Insomnia Inspired Revelation #5,041-a
As I often do, last night I lay awake with a cat lying across my legs in a cumbersome position. It felt as though some person had laid a burlap bag of wood blocks. I'm still unclear whether my cat is trying to keep my legs warm at night or just cease the blood flow preventing me from going to work the following morning.
So, I lay awake with thoughts of qualitative research dancing through my head. Isms and Ologys and genuine interests dance around like so many clay pigeons and I take aim but never pull the trigger.
What am I aiming at, anyway?
I've written and read about authentic pedagogy, critical thinking and Bloom. Technology should be an important resource to incorporate and I'm surrounded by it daily. I enjoy the writing process and blogging. My tentative problem statement regarding critical thinking and the connection to blogging has already been approved by two reliable sources. I'm still hesitant to ask teachers to relinquish control of their curriculum to me for an actual study.
Sure, a definitive understanding of aforementioned Qualitative Isms and Ologys. Yes, a classroom of secondary education guinea pigs. There's something else much more important that needs to link the professional research aspect with my genuine interests and goals; this study must answer a phenomenon I've witnessed and provide useable incite for educators.
School is boring.
That's it! My observed phenomenon is school is boring!
A bored classroom is an unmotivated classroom, at least that's the consensus from students I've worked with in the past. It is a problem and maybe we shouldn't be so harsh to attack the students that rebel against boring, uninspired curricula. That kid that can't stay seated the entire hour in your class? Maybe it's your fault and they don't need that IEP or prescription to Aderol. Maybe they need a teacher that strives to make learning exciting, relevant and interesting… and entertaining?
Education goes Hollywood. Educators start to advertise their class and graded projects should go viral. Teachers need agents and better PR, too! How about a mysterious internet leak of an upcoming lesson plan for your English class? Release a teaser trailer while you're at it. Why do military, law enforcement and college students get discounts at car washes? Teachers deserve appreciation discounts too!
How do we make school NOT boring? The current curriculum and curriculum trends are either fostering boredom or something else. Current trends or phenomena I've observed include "cookie cutter" curricula aimed to provide each student with standardized instructional experiences aimed to higher performance on state and national exams. This practice doesn't seem prudent to fostering genuine knowledge retention. There is also an upcoming push of Common Core which some hope will emphasize critical thinking skills.
The above mentioned topics were the clay targets swarming around my head as the night stand alarm clock glowed 1:36 AM and I was scrambling to find the right net to trap these elements in a qualitative research project. As I see it... the common correlation to tie all this together is in the writing process, namely the publication step.
In theory, publication affects motivation, engagement, critical thinking skills, knowledge retention, entertainment value and boredom. So, my real qualitative research project should focus on the significant impact publication has in classroom curriculum?