Here is an example of a school assignment sent to me by an inventive high school psychology teacher:
“To gain a better understanding of Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development, you will go to a toy store and choose one toy for each stage of development. In a paper, you will discuss what aspect of the toy corresponds with what developmental milestone in Piaget’s theory. Additionally you will discuss the issue of gender identity formation, based on your visit to the toy store.”
It is one of many such ideas that pop up on my Class Struggle blog. The teacher who forwarded the assignment, Patrick Mattimore, suggested an activity in which readers send in effective teaching strategies. He and I would select the best entries. Knowing the state of newsroom budgets, Mattimore suggested a reward of some value but no cost: publicity for the winner.