Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

field notes 2

mzhang's picture

After I watched the girl sitting in front of me playing her online games all through the class, I started to doubt whether or not a computer class should be held in this loose tension. I have noticed from the very beginning of this placement that the teacher does not give any lectures and the class begins and ends in chaos as always. Is it because that this is a computer class which is not a traditional discipline course?

I interviewed the teacher afterwards and the teacher gave her answers as that first of all, many of students had already have those computer skills before they come into the class and secondly, sixth and seventh grade girls will probably not focus on her lecture for long. 

In this classroom, there is no doubt that most of the students have access to computers and technical skills outside the class and according to the teacher, besides the transfer students, students in this school would receive the computer education from kindergarten. I agree that prosperous economic background of these students may bring them advantadges in utilizing computers but since if the kindergarten in this school has already provided the technique education, why the curriculum in middle school still stays in the same material? If the students were simply taking a break and surfing online randomly, school might need to reconsider the curriculum and the course arrangment, otherwise, the class would be a waste of time and resource.

When it comes to the problem that whether or not these middle school students could stay focus on teachers' lectures, I strongly believe that it is worth a try to lead them in a systematical way to learn the computer skills. It is about learing basic and firm knowledge and establishing teachers' authority.