The Game of School: Why We All Play It, How It Hurts Kids,and What It Will Take to Change It
Students play it, teachers perpetuate it, parents condone it, principals endorse it, and governments legislate it. The “game of school” is that familiar scenario where students’ natural curiosity and desire to learn are replaced with a frantic rush (or a compliant shrug) to do the work, please the teacher, and get the grades. This game is easy to master, but exerts a high price. Can we afford to pay the price in wasted time and idle minds? In this compelling book, Robert L. Fried shows how we can change the rules of the game, reclaim and refocus the learning experience, and ultimately bring joy back into the classroom. The Game of School is filled with interviews and stories of teachers and students who are struggling to put the game of school behind them and engage in authentic learning. We experience the excitement of the first day of first grade; listen to urban teens discuss Shakespeare’s Othello; and meet a college student who is beginning to question her long disengagement with learning. We are introduced to seven types of learners--from “go-getters” to “pluggers” to “rebels”--and find out how the game shapes their relationship to schooling and life.