The "Good Kid": Compliant or Engaged?
It's interesting when I hear teachers describe a student as "a good kid". I was that good kid in school. And, unfortunately, I definitely described some of my former students that way earlier in my career. But what do we mean when we say "good kid"? A good kid completes school work without many complaints. A good kid never breaks school rules. A good kid studies hard and carries out assignments to the best of her/his ability. A good kid is quiet when appropriate and participates when appropriate in class. So, when we say that a student is a "good kid" we are actually describing someone who is compliant. A teacher with compliant students is able to get through each school day rather smoothly. But, from the student perspective, is using the path of least resistance actually the best way to learn? Instead, we should encourage our children to be engaged at school. The Glossary of Education Reform explains student engagement in this way