There are many things that bother me in education. The one thing that bothers me the most is when my students have lost the will to do better.
This particular post is coming directly from some experiences that I've had in drama classes lately. Most of the time my blogs are about English class and the general landscape of education. However, this one is directly tied to my drama class.
Currently we are doing a unit on scene studies. Students get into groups, they choose a script, they block it (plan their stage movements), they rehearse it, they work on characterization, they perform it. But, that cannot be the end. They need feedback, they need to know what went well in the scene and what did not. Then, when they get more input and information, they need to do it again. It's a chance to wind time back and, with the use of 20/20 hindsight, do it better.
They don't want to.
My students seem to be so burnt out on projects, assignments, homework, tests, and grades, that they no longer have the energy to put into something that has no high stakes. The purpose of a scene study is to learn to be a better and more effective actor. You can't do that if you only perform your scene in front of an audience one time.
Can this be expanded out into other subjects? The one time you take a math test and move on? The one time you submit your essay to your English teacher, get your grade/marks on it and move on? There are so many opportunities for us to circle back and learn from our mistakes, but we ignore them all too frequently.
I do not grade student work in my classes. I do that to take the pressure off of my students to kill themselves over performing whatever task they are assigned or undertaking perfectly the first time.
But, how do I energize them and get them interested in self improvement and multiple attempts? How do I make them realize that things get better when we make them better and that ideals and being idealistic really do matter?