Sunday, March 6, 2011

Making a Commitment to Fitness

My faithful readers will know that I've never hesitated to stretch a metaphor, so here we go again:

Two and a half years ago, I decided to lose weight.  And I got pretty darn serious about it.  I joined Weight Watchers and a gym--- and consequently dropped 65 pounds.  It was hard work, but as they say, did not require nearly the commitment as keeping it off.  To do so, which I have, essentially requires a lifestyle change in terms of nutrition and exercise.

The benefits to me in terms of energy and self-confidence were literal.  For example, I am sure that I would not have appled for the ADE program if I had not been in the process of gaining that edge.

But back to the metaphor.  I am concerned that after a school year's worth of showing, encouraging, etc.  When some of the Challenge Based Learning teams at Mercy finally roll out their projects, they will go into it like the latest diet fad.  You know how that goes-- buy the book, give it a try and cast it aside in a month or so when because you are not really committed to a paradigm shift.  I have already seen this with a couple of friends.  They are not "all in" with CBL which predetermines that they will deem it a failure or consider it to intrusive on the day-to-day.  Could happen.  This is news to no one, but change is hard.


Flickr CC photo by markvall


Anonymous said...

Not only are you wont to "stretch a metaphor but are also not above pushing the puns as well

Lynn Waldsmith said...

I agree with your basic concern Larry. But I think that there is an inherent assumption on your part that CBL is the BEST paradigm for ALL subjects, and I have to disagree. I think CBL works extremely well in subjects like social studies, but not necessarily in others, including English. I am not afraid of change and am willing to try new things. But I know I am entrusted as an English teacher to help students become better writers, readers and critical thinkers. I'm not convinced CBL helps them improve their ability to read critically or write more articulately, though hopefully it will help them THINK critically. I have no doubt that a CBL project would work better in my journalism class, for example, than in my frosh foundations class, or even a Brit Lit class for that matter. In other words,CBL (to carry your analogy further) might be a program like Weight Watchers -- right for some people, but not a panacea for all.

Larry Baker said...

Thanks the comment, but actually Lynn, you are incorrect about my position. I advocate teachers of all stripes using CBL, but I have never talked about CBL being the "best" approach to any particular course or subject. But challenging the limits of "sit and get", teacher leads "discussion" I may come across as over zealous about this CBL at times. However, some teachers (not you obviously) use the "it doesn't work for my subject" - be it English , Science, math) as a dodge and rule out entirely CBL for their discipline. CBL does not serve each course equally well, but it goes a long way toward addressing the "Wagner Survival Skills" which I do think are essential goals. I respect any teacher who is pushing herself and her students every day to find new things to learn and better ways to learn things. Thanks for prompting me to say it.

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