As a parent right now, I would gladly give up a lot of the “knowing” that my kids are doing, a lot of the content that’s being crammed in their heads, in exchange for time spent on what learning can be at a time when they have 2 billion potential teachers at their fingertips.
In a supportive comment to this blog entry, Wilkins of Learning Earning, asserts 'We think that teachers need the tools to individually motivate students.'
While I would agree with the concept of individually motivating students and I don't want to take teachers away from either one-on-one contact with students to help them take responsibility for their own education, and while I am not in any way advocating a one-size-fits-all model in education, I believe that a huge concentration on individual process in education, individual responsibility, and individual choice excludes the most powerful in education possible: the learning community.
We need students to be motivated to learn. Recently a friend noted that some students are just passionately curious about the world. Such people need to be "let loose" to learn all they want. But, she wondered, what about those students who just don't seem interested? How do we motivate those who tend toward complacency in their pursuit of fun? Perhaps a possibility would be to structure the class sessions to promote a learning community, where students can help others find out what they are most interested in learning. Motivation often comes from personal curiosity, but sometimes it may take the interest of a friend, the opportunity of helping (or being helped) by others, or the example seen in an authentic and transparent learning community (led by the most intensely curious of all possible humans: the teacher).
These are just my recent thoughts; now I will get out of the way and let others comment...