Passive acceptance of student boredom

Robert Fried says…

[A]mid all the accounts … of kids complaining to each other about how bored they are with many of their classes, why do we accept this so passively, without arguing for the right to be learning something of value? [The Game of School, p. xii]

10 Responses to “Passive acceptance of student boredom”

  1. Scott, this is a fantastic quote. Thank you for sharing. Such a vital question for us to consider as educators adjusting to the need for a new approach.

  2. So if students complain that they are bored then we are to assume that what they’re learning has no value?

    Granted, I’ve not read the book…so I’m missing context.

  3. Interesting. When I learned about taxes and the stock market in my high school Economics class, I thought it was pretty useless and “boring.” Now I find myself reading more and more about retirement accounts, HSAs and the market due to a new-found interest in “life after working.”

    While I don’t agree with the general premise of the quote, sometimes I wonder if the content we teach our students is “boring” might be because it isn’t “timely.”

    We can, for example, teach students about budgeting as high school seniors, but they may not have their first job as a physician until seven or eight years down the road. How will things have changed over that time period? Should M.D.’s learn about budgeting their pay checks in med school?

  4. As a parent, I know that some of school is boring just because…I also know that when a child is bored because they are not being challenged (finishing work correctly and way faster than others for example) that is a bored that needs to be dealt with. It is my experience that only a certain niche of teachers recognize that need and act on it rather than making excuses or sluffing it under the desk. There is a risk of kids losing total interest when they are truly bored because of lack of stimulation and challenge.

  5. We accept kids’ passivity. If we are preparing our kids to be responsible citizens in a democratic republic, is it odd that we have schools that promote obedience “just because”?

    Is that really a trait we want in our citizens?

  6. I think that if the students are going to worry about being so bored then the teachers need a new more interesting approach. Kids are hard to please these days but dont make it any worse than it has to be for them. Make school a place they want to go, not one they dread. Myself being a student understands that school can be utterly boring but if the teachers would make that step and create a more interesting and fun enviroment for us we might kind of enjoy learning instead of being so bored all the time.

  7. What i was trying to explain in my comment before is that its not okay for the students to gripe about being so bored. This is why the teachers need to take that creativity step, Im not being negative about it whatsoever i just dont think studetns should have to dread going to school.

  8. I think that if the students are going to worry about being so bored then the teachers need a new more interesting approach. Kids are hard to please these days but dont make it any worse than it has to be for them. Make school a place they want to go, not one they dread. Myself being a student understands that school can be utterly boring but if the teachers would make that step and create a more interesting and fun enviroment for us we might kind of enjoy learning instead of being so bored all the time. We want our kids to enjoy school and to have fun with the learning possibility. These kids are smart but they have a hard time showing it when the are in bordem.

  9. i agree completely. although i think that kids dont understand that this what they learn is very relavant, and they need to know these things. being a student myself though, i believe teachers can teach in a much more exiting way, so kids will look forward to learning.

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