Flog or Golf?

Forbes had a fun article titled, Go for It Golfing, outlining ways to make golf more entertaining for the masses.  For context, consider that golf lost 4 million participants over the last five years and a million last year alone.  Between the green fees, equipment, and rules the game is focused on serving the limited few who can perform an awkward athletic skill repeatedly over a couple hours.  Just 0.7% of all golfers with a USGA handicap are ‘scratch’ (zero), meaning they should shoot par over 18 holes.  That means 99% of us need to supplement our score card to even come close to shooting par.  Basically we are playing a sport that scores based on failure and one big failure during a round can be catastrophic (no chance to get an Advance to Go card).  The authors outline six innovations that would dramatically change the way golf is scored and played, many of which I intend to implement if I take out my clubs that have not seen a fairway for a year or so.

All this makes me think about other areas that could use a re-write of the rules to make it more enjoyable.  What if education capitalized on gaming and had levels of achievement awards instead of grades, and SAT’s were replaced by the opportunities that show case a student’s talents (critical thinking list of interview questions for job applicants, none of these would appear on the SATs)?  What if a parent had to sign their name to the report that they had helped their child write/create?  Acknowledge that the project was a team effort and revel in the parent-child bonding experience, teamwork, and on-going education for both child and parent.  What if students who presented a different point-of-view in class were asked to teach the next class to fully articulate their perspective – with the teacher sitting at the student’s desk taking part in the learning?  What if a teacher asked the parent to bring their unique talent to the classroom to benefit the class (or even mentor a student, team, division)?  What if teachers did not feel pressure to know all the ideas but were treasured for being the facilitators and curators of great thinking?  What if we focused on original authorship, a student’s own perspective on a topic that one could not find online in a series of YouTube videos, Google searches, and Wikipedia articles?  What if we really got to know the students instead of the students getting to know all the details of what has already been discovered and catalogued?  

Now that is a presentation and a classroom I want to visit!  

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