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Patricia Ruvalcaba

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How can SOLEs be implemented without causing students to shun necessary but "boring" skills?

I remember when I was in 8th grade and a classmate asked me point-black what was the purpose of geography. Let me tell you, my answer of "so you know the climate of the country you are visiting or where is it" was utter rubish - both to my classmate and to me, but that was the only thing I could think of that she could actually relate to (two months later, she move to New Zealand).
In school, we are taught many things that we may not WANT to know, but that we NEED to know. Examples: grammar, composition, history, geography, mental maths, etc. Also, there are also many subjects for which we know the bare minimum (learnt at school) because we never give ourselves the time to learn about even if we know they are important (not many people actually read their country's constitution) or interesting (ethics, philosophy, art, etc.)

So... how ca SOLEs include these subjects without going against their principle (learning through self-motivation, not through imposition)

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    Mar 9 2013: The teachers could put forward a selection of enticing questions that happen to require particular vital skills for later problems and subjects.

    The greater challenge, I think, is how kids will figure out whether what they are reading online is actually valid or rather mistake or misrepresentation.
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      Mar 9 2013: Sounds like that skill should be taught?
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        Mar 9 2013: It definitely should be, but the concept of the SOLE, if I understand it, is for nothing to be taught by the teacher at all.
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      Mar 9 2013: You are quite right - critical thinking and critical reading will be THE most important skills students will need, regardless of what they do or learn. I believe debates will help them develop those skills.

      Quoting you, "The teachers could put forward a selection of enticing questions that happen to require particular vital skills for later problems and subjects"
      I still cannot think of an enticing question that will lead to students learning to conjugate.
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        Mar 9 2013: Perhaps being able to speak understandably and read in a second language?

        Another area that can be great fun is sometimes called "natural language". There are puzzlers to be decoded that depend on recognizing language patterns.
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        Mar 10 2013: You are probably right about there not being an enticing question that will lead today's students to learning how to conjugate. But, that's "today's" students. For one who loves learning, the realization of the need becomes apparent. If I can't put a grammatically sound sentence together, I can't get a high-paying job. If I can't present a life-altering improvement idea to my community, then learning conjugation has a real purpose.

        Just like if I couldn't get a driver's license unless I knew how to read - I would want to learn how to read. Mitra speaks of trusting natural curiosity and natural propensity to learn and allowing education to direct itself in order to serve the student first, the community second, and the nation or fiscal paradigm last. This flies in the face of the current educational paradigm.

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