Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Learn to love salmon goddammit

Like your mama making you eat peas, the Seattle school district says ya gotta study salmon every year...and many students resent every moment of it.

Not that they hate salmon, they just dislike being force-fed fish every year.

I'm a fish guy that thinks salmon are lovable, even sexy (ok, I'm weird). But I do know that force-feeding salmon facts to kids won't work. Instead, find a way to offer salmon education to kids that they will queue up to join. And that usually means getting outside and getting wet and dirty.

Like the experience-based learning mentioned in the article linked above. There's nothing like tramping around in the woods and finding real live salmon in a real live stream that changes people's view of salmon.

Force-feeding facts and figures in a classroom? Might just do more harm than good.

6 comments:

Kate said...

God forbid we expect students to LEARN in school, eh?

Or should we merely allow students to learn what they think is important?

Honestly? It sounds like a smart thing to do... teach them about the salmon, the history, the science, the ecology, the economy, the culture, the regional features... Salmon used to hold everything together up there. It's a great thing to learn. Because, yeah, it's cool to feel for the fish, but it's so much more.

Max said...

I'm not sure how they do it in all of the Seattle schools, but I worked at one in which we received a nice big plexiglass tank with salmon eggs and the kids kept logs of their progress until they were large enough to be released. If the kids were interested enough, which ours were, there were free field trips available that were not connected to the curriculum but that did lead them through salmon hatching areas and taught all about the salmon in their natural habitat. All it took was an alert teacher (or AmeriCorps member like me) to sign up, and in a low-income school like ours the bus was even paid for by the city.

I think all of the stuff you want is already available, as long as you take a couple hours to set it up. The article really doesn't talk about where they're getting their information, but rather it seems like they simply assumed that teaching about salmon only involved classroom memorization because everyone always assume that...

Two Thumbs said...

This reminds me of the "Fish in a bottle" experiment I had to do in grade school.
Nobody wanted to watch a fish grow in a soda bottle.
But, it was awesome once it got going.

Robyrodz said...

Sexy...
: S

nitin said...

know about salmon in water ...

your article is enough

Kaiao said...

Excellent post! I don't think you could ever learn more in school that you could from directly observing and interacting from life as beautiful vibrant as Salmon.