[Cross-posted on my blog, "A Floor, But No Ceiling". Click here.]
Our mission is to achieve the academic benchmarks and standards that define success. Our philosophy is to provide each student with “a floor, but no ceiling” representing each student’s maximum success. Our pedagogy is this “thing” we’ve been calling “21st century learning” (but is really just excellence in “teaching & learning”). Our product are students who are lifelong learners.
We can never confuse our product (academic success as defined by standards) with our process (“21st century learning”). So with that context in mind, please consider the following:
Blogging is process, not product.
I was tempted to be extremely hyperbolic, as an attention grabber, and title this post, ”Students who blog are more likely to get into Ivy League colleges, nab their dream jobs, and live happily ever after.”
Not to suggest there is any evidence (yet!) that this is true, but to try to shine a light on this fundamental truth operating at the core of our school; that we believe reflective learners achieve at a higher level than non-reflective learners. It is both that simple and that complicated.
It is because we believe that the process of reflection leads to the product of achievement.
If I accomplish nothing else in this post, it will hopefully be to have you click on Silvia Tolisano’s blog post on our 21st Century Learning blog, here, in which she lays out in the most compelling and convincing way the why of blogging at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. It is as good a post as you’ll read this year. With clear analysis and data, she explains how blogging catalyzes achievement. Not just for students, but for their “text-people” – their teachers.
Or as I put it in a comment to a teacher’s blog post:
..if your students don’t see “blogging” as integral to their ability to learn math – if they don’t realize that blogging helps them learn math better – then why should they want to blog about math?
…and to draw the larger point…if we teachers don’t see blogging as integral to our ability to be effective teachers – if we don’t realize that engaging in collaborative reflection helps us become better teachers – then why should we want to blog about teaching?
Our teachers blog because the process of blogging makes them better teachers. We teach our students to blog because blogging makes them better students. Better students will achieve higher academic success than non-better students. Our students want to be successful. Our teachers want to be successful.
Reflection breeds success.