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ERIC Number: EJ762586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
World Citizenship: A Humane Alternative to "Drill and Kill"
Mitchell, Bruce
Phi Delta Kappan, v88 n9 p700-701 May 2007
Even though Joel lived a continent away, many sixth-graders at a Title I school in California could easily identify with his life of poverty. Their empathy motivated them to launch an ambitious charitable project, which, Mr. Mitchell argues, had far greater educational value than the relentless test preparation that is standard fare in most low-income schools today. Through a charity known as Students Helping Street Kids International (SHSKI), founded by Bob Crites, the students learned about a young Brazilian boy named Joel who was considered a piano prodigy. Discovering that Joel had little access to a piano, and could not afford one of his own, the class organized a school festival to help raise funds that enabled him to acquire an instrument of his own and to allow his family to have some much-needed home repairs done. This festival, dubbed Pantherfest in honor of their school mascot, required a considerable range of talents and abilities: soliciting donations from local busineses, organizing raffles, accounting for all donations, composing thank-you letters, researching rental fees, and calculating costs for refreshments in order to allow for a decent profit. The author contends that these types of activities, although they cannot be measured directly by standardized tests, nonetheless clearly demonstrate learning exercises. Having the students take responsibility for much of their own learning resulted in a venture they will never forget, and may have had much more impact on them than the more mundane "drill and kill" procedures directed solely at raising test scores. (Contains 1 endnote.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil; California