#BIT16Reads asks participants in the How We Learn by Benedict Carey book club:
Would you say that you’d rather be a grade 9 student in the year 2016 or would you rather be a grade 9 student in the year that you were actually in grade 9….and why?
Here are some of the more interesting answers:
- Kate Johnson-McGregor says: “I would much rather have been a grade 9 student in 1986 than now. The absence of privacy that our kids have come to accept as the norm – the obligation to create and maintain a virtual as well as a real presence, the “selfie” and “snapchat” pressures – I think it must be very difficult to be in Grade 9 today. In 1986, I wrote letters to my then-boyfriend on pieces of lined paper that have been long-since destroyed. My friends “called on” me by ringing the doorbell. And Dirty Dancing and Top Gun were winners at the box office. It’s hard to beat that.”
- Elizabeth Mason Brown contrasts Kate’s ideas by adding: “Now! I know that there is a LOT more pressure on kids today, but I am a total tech addict. I don’t consider myself old, but I remember when TVs were black and white and we listened to 8 track tapes! I love the instant access to information and people from all over the world and hope that we become a truly global community. In teaching History this year, we are learning how long it took the explorers to travel from Europe to the new world but we can travel to virtually anywhere instantly. That excites me.”
I got into a lot of trouble in grade 9 and none of it was published on the internet so I would have a constant fear that my bad behaviour would get back to my parents if I was a teenager in 2016. Having said that I think a do-over of grade 9 in 1985 wouldn’t have prevented me from getting into trouble because I still wrestle with those impulses now as an adult in 2016! However I would rather be a student in 2016 in terms of learning because I bet it’s so much more improved than my 1985 experience. Is that a huge assumption? There are so many classes in my school that I wish I could audit.
So if Kate and Elizabeth represent opposite ends on the spectrum of answers, where would you place yourself? I look forward to your answers.