04 May 2005

Creative Changes for Education

Imagine if your high school class was run like a D&D game. You are a 14-year-old adventurer and you walk into this unknown classroom. You know about 4 other people out of the 25 gathered there, so you and your buds slink into seats in the back of the class. The GM/Teacher looks everyone over and starts counting you off in groups of 5. You are separated from your buds and you're moving your bookbag into the desk between the pimply-faced nerd and the snooty girl with an accent that could cut diamonds. You and your team, which includes the nerd, the snoot, a jock-wannabe, and a reject from the local stoners' bar, are given your assignment: To pass 9th grade. 80% of your overall pass rate will come from your own work. But the other 20% will come from teamwork and how well the other members your group also succeed at mastering their classes.

Think of it -- 20% is not enough to flunk you if you are a generally excellent student, but it will sure make a dent or a difference to anyone attempting to get by with a "Gentleman's C."

It also fosters teamwork and a sense of community, and motivates helpfulness through use of self-interest. Could it work?

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