Thursday, September 20, 2012

About "Enrichment"

We use the term "enrichment" from time to time in schools, and I hate it.

Sometimes it refers to the opportunities that our "gifted" students have above the regular curriculum to pursue research and projects that they care about.  Sometimes, it refers to opportunities given to all students after they finish their regular classroom work.  This supposed "enrichment" is meant to give them a "richer" educational experience..

Why should kids have to wait for boring test-prep based seat work to be over before they get a rich education?  Why is this rich education often only available to our students who are labeled "gifted"?  Doesn't every kid deserve the opportunity to see relevance in what they learn?  Shouldn't we be striving to allow all children the opportunity to become passionate about learning?

If "enrichment" is that extra stuff we do, what is the normal stuff we do?  Maybe we should classify it as "unrichment". 

I hate the term because enrichment shouldn't be the extra opportunity we give kids in schools.  It should be the focus of what we do in schools.

Then, we wouldn't have to call it "enrichment".  We could just call it learning.