Overall, I was a really good student (you're welcome, Mom). I tested well, played well with others and took advanced classes. But I also realized that not everyone learns the same way.
I watch my son in his school now. Since he is still little, his classes are based on the playing-is-learning and self-exploration approaches. And that fits him perfectly for now, but I wonder how he will adapt to the learn-and-test model that most schools are centered on.
Peter Gray makes some good points in his long-form piece taking a look at self-motivated learners, but it also leaves me wondering about the children like me that learned best in a school environment. Would I have been self-motivated enough to seek out information about my least-liked subjects? (I'm looking at you, biology.) There's no easy answer, but as a parent, I will do my best to present my son with new information and pique his natural curiosity when I can.
What else can we do?