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July 8, 2020
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A Long, Hard Look

Published June 10, 2020

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Congratulations to our Morgan seniors as they inch closer to their graduation. As I finish my ninth year in education as both a high school science teacher and a university supervisor, I realize that for good or ill, the world of education (and the world at large) will never be the same. Therefore, I recommend that as we begin planning for our return to school in Clinton this fall, we take a long, hard look at the conditions we are creating for our students. It will not be as it has been.

The research is overwhelming: We should be teaching our kids to learn intrinsically and to develop critical and creative thinking skills. As a candidate for the Clinton Board of Education last year, I met a number of parents with kids in our schools. I quickly realized what I had suspected: Our kids are mostly doing what they are told, yet many kids don’t see the purpose of it all. They don’t feel the slightest bit inspired.

Yes, these are strange times for our young people—COVID-19, social media, and social distancing, video gaming, etc. So in light of this, how do we construct a curriculum that helps to create citizens who can critically think and speak about their conditions with passion? And we must at least begin an honest conversation about intrinsic motivation.

Jason Feeney