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Volume 12, Number 6
November/December 1996

Getting Kids into the Picture

Student Drawings Help Teachers See Themselves More Clearly

 

Catch a 6th-grader making a drawing of his teacher in class and you would most likely take it away and tell him he'd better shape up and pay attention to his work. Right? Not at the Scott Middle School in Hammond, IN. As part of a project to assess the school's environment, Scott students are asked to draw such pictures—with results that are surprisingly enlightening.

"We saw a lot of drawings of teachers at their desks or with pointers, standing at the blackboard," says Bill Paskis, a social studies teacher at Scott Middle School who participated in the project. Many of the drawings had no kids in them at all, he says, "just desks in straight rows and a clock on the wall."

For the teachers at Scott, who are committed to doing more group work and being more available to their students, these pictures were disappointing. "Teachers were taken aback to see the traditional guru at the blackboard," says Principal Frank Lentvorsky. "We realized that we revert back to traditional modes of teaching more than we thought we did."

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.

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For Further Information

For Further Information

Co-NECT Schools, Bolt Beranek & Newman, 10 Moulton St., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-873-3000.

Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, 10014 Crazy Horse Dr., Juneau, AL 99801; 907-463-1899.

C. Golomb. The Child's Creation of a Pictorial World. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

Walt Haney, Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy, Campion Hall 323, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02167; 617-552-4521.

Scott Middle School, 3635 173rd St., Hammond, IN 46323; 219-989-7340.

S. Weber and C. Mitchell. That's Funny, You Don't Look Like a Teacher! Washington, DC: Falmer Press, 1995.