Monday, August 04, 2014
Most fathers come to this realization after just a few minutes of facing off against their sons in a video game.
I used to be good at video games... admittedly, my video games were made of square blocks, and getting better meant developing more intricate routines as the game moved faster and faster.
I sat down with Jake the other day to play Halo. I am not new to the game. I completed Halo and Halo 2 on the original Xbox. I have played multiple games WITH Jake on the Xbox 360.
But on this day, I thought we should try facing off against each other.
It was a travesty.
The only survival maneuver I seemed to have available - was keeping away from my son. Within moments of his spotting me, I was terminated.
In an effort to even the playing field, we limited the weapons he could use, and he could not come after me until I had secured some big weapons.
Finally, we settled on my having every weapon... he could have a pistol.
For a while, this lengthened the amount of time I would live... but in the end, he wasted me. I could have a Scorpion Battle Tank... and he would take me out with his pistol.
When he slaughtered me enough for one day, he put down his controller and said, "Thanks Dad... I have gotten really good with a pistol today!"
So often in American educational circles, it is assumed that if teachers just taught better, or faster, or more, we could level the playing field of the variance of scores. If student A is scoring better than student B, or if the students of city A or country A are scoring better than the students of city B or country B - there must be some way to tinker our teaching delivery to get more equality. Maybe if we just give student B more...
But understand, my problem with Jacob continually handing my behind to me had NOTHING to do with my knowledge. No amount of instruction was going to change my ability to compete with my son. In the end, no amount of tinkering with the game itself was going to change my ability to compete with my son.
The reason my son beat me today, and would beat me tomorrow and the next day, is because he has had more time on task. He has spent hours, days, weeks, and years on these games that... at this point of my life, I am never going to match.
Sometimes, the reason one student outscores another is nothing more than time on task.
Posted by Andrew at 1:47 PM