Chivalry is Dead.

After some serious reflection about my last post and also David Warlick's Teacher Shock post, I have some things I want to get out. So here goes.

Chivalry is dead.

The more that I talk with my students the more I learn about the lack of their knowledge base. As my wedding is now just four days away, I have been discussing... and they have been questioning me about the process. The students that sit in my classroom lack the knowledge background to understand even the marriage process and what this means. It makes me wonder what else they do not know.

Will these young men and women know how to date, how to meet a significant others parents, how to, when the time comes, propose... get married... raise a family? Or, is chivalry dead?

Warlick blogged, "What they learn well, they learn because it helps them. Knowledge and skills are tools for them, which they learn to use to accomplish goals. Their goals are to reach some level in the video game of the day, or to generate conversation through their social networking. To me, the question should be, 'How do we infect these information ecosystems with the knowledge and skills that we know will be essential to their future.'"

I agree... however it makes me wonder what the discussions that take place on their social networking sites entail. Are the video games they play condoning violence, specifically toward women? What are the lyrics they are listening to on their iPods as they walk around with their friends saying to them, or about society? These outlets are so integral to young peoples' lives, but what content are they learning from these technologies?

I am all for integration and delivery of instruction using these "information ecosystems", but I fear that these outlets are replacing the teacher-student relationship. What happens next?

Maybe Pilgrims and their automobiles (or their lack there of) are not the most important things in the world for my students to learn. But what about "life"... is that important, or will technology "teach" it to them... or better yet...

Is chivalry dead? Let me know your thoughts.

More to come...

Mike Meechin


David Warlick said...

I'm not entirely sure what it means or what it looks like to "infect" our students' native information experience. But I'm certainly not suggesting that we replace the classroom, face-to-face, teacher guided learning experience.

I imagine, thought, that it would be more like,

"I'd like for you to work in your groups, to produce a travel log, pretending that you are a family moving to the New World with your Pilgrim community, and I want to encourage you to collaborate in the ways that you normally interact (txting, Facebook, whatever)."

Then you (teacher) would want the students to talk in class about how they collaborated through their social networking.

Or, if one of your students is playing Age of Empires (I would try to know what video games my students are playing), then you might ask,

"Charlie, what do you think is the most important thing for people to have as they are starting a new colony? What was the experience of the villages and colonies you have started? How do you, class, think this relates to the experience of the Pilgrims?"

Also, I share your concern about what students are learning and exposed to in many of their native experiences. I made this point in my blog post. But I do not believe that it is automatic that if children are playing violent games, that they will be violent or condone violence. My son is an extraordinarily kind, generous, and chivalrus young man, that in spite of the dozens of digital people he's run over with stolen virtual cars.

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