We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I blamed the children’s poor discipline and concentration on the layout, the teacher looked at me with horror. ‘The pupils are working together, directing their own learning,’ she said emphatically. Children are now expected, for example, to be ‘independent learners’ in charge of their own education. (‘Why do teachers keep asking me what I want to learn? How am I supposed to know?’ one boy asked me in exasperation.)
"feral youth" ... Great phrase. As I remember mine through the mists of memory, we were all too worried about conforming and not getting made fun of to think about what we should be learning in school, much less planning it. You had to have the right clothes, the right saddle shoes, all that important stuff with the right labels or you would be considered a nerd.
Now that I'm old, I know I've always been a nerd, and it's given me some of the best memories of my life.
My daughter graduated with a degree in Justice/Forensics with the intention of working for the DOJ or the FBI. Because she had three years to kill - they won't accept her until she's 27 - she decided to go to grad school for a degree in teaching. She emails every night and tells me about her classes and adds that they seem sort of meaningless. I can attest to that after twenty years of teaching and having to take ED 501 courses. Those professors are from another planet and several times, the entire group of secondary teachers walked out of those classes. Anyway, my daughter is doing her practicum in a 2nd grade class and mentioned that the teacher liked group work. Elementary teachers tend to like it because they need the break, but the majority used groups to ease the burden of the intensely diverse levels of intelligence at that level of schooling. My daughter is extremely sweet and accepting of everyone, and she is what schools type "Gifted & talented". In every group she was stuck in throughout her years of elementary and grammar school, she had the trouble makers, the idiots, and the slugs. She didn't complain, but I know she despaired.
Last night we talked about turning students loose in a group to work, and we talked of her experience, and I told her that in twenty years of teaching tenth and twelfth grade, I never put the kids in a group. They were already in a group - my class, and we rocked. Admittedly, the students were in appropriate levels, unlike elementary school, but we both agreed that group 'learning' was a farce and served only to foster dependence on others to do the 'learning'.
(I got fired-up over this one... :) Sheesh, no bigger idiots than college education professors. They don't live in the real world.
Sheesh, no bigger idiots than college education professors. They don't live in the real world.
I tried teaching as a second career for several years, and had to take the ed school courses beforehand. I once mentioned the hair-brained ideas of some of my ed school profs to an aunt, who had begun her three-plus decades of teaching back in the Thirties.
My aunt's reply: "So what else is new?"
There is a need for good Education courses: how to present material, how to structure a class, how to achieve objectives, etc. Unfortunately, we have Ed Schools, where conjecture rules as fact.
Education experimentation continues. Curriculums are being designed for adults, eager to learn. Most kids don't want to be in school. The designers have trouble seeing outside of themselves. Everything is about how they would like to learn. Liberalism is a mental disorder.
Reminds me of the complete failure of "Open Concept Learning" in the US back in the late 60's and early 70's. A total disaster. Asking a 6th grader to learn at your own pace, study what feels right today, feel the information, don't push if it doesn't feel right, sitting in a bean bag chair may help, bring a pillow to school, homework is optional, do extra work if the subject speaks to you.... disaster.
Disaster is right. No more of a disaster than on the teachers who had to constantly keep up with multi-levels of work. Maddening. There was still some of that around in the mid-eighties when I started, but only in elementary and grammar school.
As for Horace's comment about adults eager to learn... My daughter has had many classes with adults in them, and several classes had Iraq veterans in them. She said the presence of the adult students changed everything as they were excellent models for those who value learning. One very interesting comment from her was that after one or two classes, everyone forgot age and became friends. She said the whole class would often go out for ice cream or coffee after class and all got into being silly or serious ... They valued each other as partners in learning I guess is the best way to put it.
I laughed out loud when I read the part in the article that stated, "The child is put in a corner, surrounded by books and assumed to be able to read by osmosis."
It reminded me of cramming for finals during chemical engineering undergrad, when an exhausted classmate put Perry's Handbook on his head and just sat there. We asked what was he doing. He replied, "Diffusion."