Monthly Archives: February 2011

Teaching rules as constructed, contextual and emergent

There's lots of discourse about 'democratic' classrooms and introducing negotiated class rules, but I really liked the way it was expressed by a teacher from Harmony school, cited in 'Emergent Curriculum' by Jones and Nimmo;

"…we have consciously avoided setting up rules at the beginning of the year because we wanted the kids to understand that rules are tied to concrete situations of living. We haven't wanted students to simply 'follow rules' that they have no history in making and no idea of why they are needed in the first place. We wanted them to help make rules that are necessary to live in our school."

I like this because it makes it clear that we are not just teaching kids the 'how' of the process behind social rule construction, we are teaching them the 'why' (drivers for social rules) and the 'what' (the nature of rules as shared contracts emergent from context, with history).