According to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” However, when applied to education and the interactions between students and teachers, does this quotation ring true?

Let’s face it. All teachers talk, but not all teachers listen. I know, I know. You are probably thinking, “Well, students talk all the time, but they don’t all listen.” Granted, you may have a point there. But perhaps the root of the problem, a lack of honest and transparent conversations between teachers and students, can be discovered when Holmes’ famous quotation is crossed with The RSA’s animated video covering Daniel Pink’s Drive.

What results is a dry-erase animated video that took two sophomore students from Studio 113 and East Hall High School six hours to plan, draw, and fully articulate their concerns about the following educational concerns:

  1. Teachers’ view versus students’ view of school schedules.
  2. School systems’ expectations of students versus students’ own expectations of themselves.
  3. Purpose, application, and importance of certain curricula.
  4. The practice of not asking the most important people of all…the students.
  5. Ignoring successful educational models, such as Finland.

Care to listen? The wise teachers already know it is the “privilege of wisdom” to click “play.”

Interested hearing more about education directly from the students? Take a look at these blog posts that offer useful insight into the present state of today’s classrooms.

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John Hardison
John Hardison is an interactive facilitator of learning and blended learning specialist at East Hall High School (Studio 113 & EPiCC) in Gainesville, Georgia. By creating a flexible class where literature creatively comes to life on a stage with students as the stars, Mr. Hardison focuses heavily on creativity, interactive structures, and student choices. In the past 18 years at East Hall High School, he has taught AP Language, American Literature, World Literature, and Applied Communications. Through original learning structures and a shared classroom concept, students are inspired to connect literature with their own talents and interests. Mr. Hardison shares his classroom concept and interactive structures by presenting at professional conferences and upon request by various schools. Look for John at ISTE and follow him on Twitter at @JohnHardison1.


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