Cassandra Seltzer • The Harriton Banner • May, 2013

I went back to middle school. On purpose. Not just any middle school, but the very halls in which I lived out my sixth-to-eighth grade career. And what did I do? Observe other, smaller, people live out their sixth-to-eighth grade careers. I followed my former art teacher (now the ‘gifted’ teacher for seventh graders) around, migrating from class to class on a mission. The man formerly known as “art teacher Todd Marrone” has a proposal: revamp the state of classroom education to motivate kids to care about their learning. Tall order.

Marrone writes of an alternative plan for student motivation, saying, “If an individual is not interested, invested and/or personally accountable for achieving a goal, he or she will only move forward under the immediate supervision and intimidation/encouragement of someone who is. [This] model is an inefficient use of resources, shortsighted and unauthentic. The moment the supervisor is removed from the equation, the motivation dissipates.” Ironically, he brought me in as a kind of “supervisor” to observe his teaching, to take notes and realize possible alternatives. (more…)