Make Just One Change

I dunno. In this book, Make Just One Change, authors Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana try passionately to make a compelling case for their view that education can be transformed by making “just one change”: teaching students “to ask their own questions.” This is an appealing idea, as it is all too rare for students to ask important questions. (“How do I find the answer?” doesn’t count. “I don’t get it” especially doesn’t count, as it isn’t even a question.)

So why wasn’t I convinced? Maybe it’s because Weston, like other Lake Wobegon communities, is skewed so heavily toward high-achieving students. Maybe it’s because we have so much curriculum to go through. Maybe it’s because the method doesn’t really work so well in mathematics, although there are a couple of math examples in the book. Rothstein and Santana do provide a nice mixture of a concrete advice and big-picture formulation, but…but…it just didn’t add up for me. I started reading Make Just One Change with the intention of giving it a try in at least one of my classes, and now I reflect on the idea with no enthusiasm for going forward with it. I believe in inquiry, but I am not convinced that this approach is the right way for me to go about it — not in Weston, not in 2013 at any rate. If anyone else has read the book and wants to argue with me, please do so! I would like to be convinced that I’m wrong.


Categories: Books, Teaching & Learning, Weston