What does medieval history have to do with a juicy steak from a modern, upscale restaurant? Read on, watch the video and find out!
In a recent LA Times article, education reporter Karin Klein reflects on her experience at her children’s back-to-school nights:
Back-to-school night has changed over the last couple of decades, and not for the better. It’s unclear to me exactly when this happened; it’s been more of a gradual shift noticed after 23 years of annual attendance at my kids’ schools, all of them in an affluent suburban school district.
In those earlier years, teachers spent most of their time — admittedly, in upper grades, they’re allotted a measly 10 minutes each — talking about what the students would learn and how they, the teachers, would transmit knowledge, build skills and foster intellectual growth.
These days, the talk is mostly of grading rubrics, class rules, points deductions for various behaviors, the preparations for the state’s standardized test. There were a couple of classes Wednesday night that could have been in any subject; the teachers didn’t actually mention anything about the curriculum or the value of learning this topic, but one gave a lengthy talk about the dire consequences of unexcused absences. Another teacher finished early with her spiel about how to navigate her website and how many days students were given to make up missed work, so asked for questions, then seemed nonplussed and unprepared when a parent asked what the students would learn this year.
When I read this, I thought if only Mrs. Klein could have visited LePort’s “Curriculum Night” a few weeks ago! If she had, she would have seen that at least one school is still keeping alive the approach of “those earlier years.” The focus at LePort’s parent nights is not on the pedantic or the petty, but on the important task of giving parents a meaningful window into their child’s everyday learning experience.
To see just one example, here’s an excerpt from a talk given by Jesse McCarthy, Academic Director of History, explaining LePort’s approach to history:
In his brief presentation, Mr. McCarthy helps parents experience one of our teaching principles, encourage curiosity. Now here’s a glimpse into the type of history class that results:
Inspired, passionate learning doesn’t have to be a forgotten value of times gone by. Cultivating that passion in students is what we strive for daily at LePort. And whether in our classrooms or at a back-to-school night, we believe such cultivation is an essential element in reversing education’s general decline. If we consistently manage to get children excited about history (and math, science, geography, grammar, literature, and more!), they will remember what we teach—and eagerly complete 13-page tests. For when a student is genuinely excited to learn, when a child can’t wait to get to school, there is no limit to the knowledge he or she can gain.
Our goal as educators is to inspire in our students a passion for learning—and learning a lot at that. If you share our goal as a parent, come see firsthand just what’s possible for your child at LePort Schools.