I liked this book because it inspires me to stand up and fight for the underdog. In this case, the underdog is our students. The love of learning and curiosity of our students is being smothered by statistics and testing. Learning should be enjoyable- it is something we do for our entire lives. Learning is not sitting for hours and hours staring at a fill-in-the-bubble answer sheet. Learning is not reading a dry, lifeless text and answering multiple choice questions.
This line of page 75 resonated with me: “Children need to know that as human being they are more important than what I have to teach them” Our children are human beings, not statistics. I think an effective teaching strategy includes the human side of all of the students. In order to maximize learning in the classroom, students need to feel safe, accepted and understood. With all of this testing, the human side of our children is being pushed away and ignored. Children are perceptive, they know their test scores and performance in the classroom is under scrutiny. Graves also touches on this on page 19: “What young children can’t handle, and is dangerous to their health, is the look on the faces of adults, the tone in their voices, as they evaluate the scores.”