This is going to be subjective, at best. I haven’t the continuing education to prove my theories, test them or even live long enough to see the outcomes.
My hypothesis is that STUDENTS CAN AND WILL LEARN by SIMPLE LANGUAGE, EXPLANATION, DEMONSTRATION AND REPETITION. It is how we start them on the path to language as babies and unless there is a medical reason, all babies learn to talk, therefor, all children who can talk, can learn. [Of course, those who cannot talk, can also learn, with the right approach.] [Have you ever heard of Marva Collins, a most successful educator? Find and read her books.] I believe learning begets thinking.
Learning hasn’t changed. Teaching has regressed.
Taking into account that “oldsters, like myself” have an innate sense of what works and what doesn’t and right and wrong and the good-old-days, I surmise that great teachers and good education may have begun and ended, on the prairie during the days of hardships, homesteading, pioneers and nation building. People struggled to build a homestead and a family and to include a church and a school in their future. For the most part, schooling their youngsters was such a priority that parents took on the care of the teacher to facilitate the futures of their children. Kids in those days studied Math, Penmanship, Geography, History, Latin, English, Reading, and Science, among other subjects. Their Reading included the classics, something today’s college students may or may not encounter. School hardly lasted past 8th grade and teachers were students with another year or two of education.
Some two hundred years later, my schooling included all of the above, as well as office subjects and Home Ec or Ag [can you imagine those pioneer kids hearing about a class in “hard work”]. We did not have much reading of the classics, we missed ancient history details and many other basics, but I feel that our education was comparable to the education received today in 4 years of college.
We have dumbed down our kids by not expecting more of them. Those pioneer families did not subsist on 18 years of childhood for each kid. Everyone who reached school age had become accustomed to contributing. They had chores, they had responsibilities, they had to help with survival and they were taught at home and then at school about the value and expectations of learning. By the time of my schooling, kids were still a bit self-sufficient, contributors and we knew that school was necessary. College was becoming recognized as an opportunity for a better life or career.
Today’s kids are still kids at 18 or 19 or beyond. They expect catering. They expect rescue and special treatment. There is no accountability or contributions to the family unit. In that regard, today’s college is mandatory to finish what was started and NOT accomplished in 13 years of schooling.
If you have to go to college to finish a basic education and you can leave with a bachelor’s degree to teach, you are, in point of fact, teaching with our 12K education. That leaves new teachers under qualified to teach in today’s marketplace of education.
Would that it were a marketplace! [Off course, but if today’s education system were a marketplace, parents would be able to choose where their children would best be served and maybe even by whom. Good schooling, even great schooling would flourish. Good and great teachers would be sought after. Students would succeed and education standards would be served on a platter. Kids [and parents] who did not recognize their opportunities would be dismissed to find other educational options. [It might be amazing to see how things progress if a child was denied an education because of behavior or parental ineptitude. Lack of funds would always find a way for determined families, but families with children who have no incentives to learn or try, in our current situations, have bred more of the same. Kids and parents need accountability and consequences!]
Kids going to college would be prepared for advance learning and colleges would serve the same standards. You wouldn’t go to college to play sports and slide through the education. Colleges wouldn’t be teaching remedial courses. College professors would be hired for teaching, not tenure. I propose that tenured professors, or some like them, have denigrated our system from the top down. When you focus on research and your subject has been researched to death, you start fomenting ideas that are far left field and hardly beneficial, so then you dress them up in terminology to confuse and obfuscate to promote your superiority and you find changelings willing to drink your Kool-Aid, thereby justifying your ideas as post-modern and futuristic and innovative and as the Ferris wheel turns, more questionables join the ride and soon enough your ideas overtake common sense and simplicity. What are we left with? Today’s attempt to educate beyond the trusted values of SIMPLE LANGUAGE, EXPLANATION, DEMONSTRATION AND REPETITION.]
I am one of those people with just enough time to read, just enough, to formulate an opinion that aligns with my own theories and a blog to throw it out there. It is easy to criticize from my perspective. I don’t have any school age kids and my grandkids are in the system with or without parental involvement – I do not know. I recently read the book THE FACULTY LOUNGES and Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For by Naomi Schaefer Riley. I also read a blog post from BlnNews, a blog on the governmental workings of Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. This post included a pdf file of the ‘Unit 5’s Task Force Guide 2019-2020’ regarding Standards Based Learning and Grading.
From my uneducated guess, someone somewhere had way toooooo much time on their hands and no performance based job to attend to, so they have wasted hours and hours on a subjective proposition of no merit whatsoever, andddddd, sold it to some other inept time-wasting interloper who should NOT be in any position to influence education procedures.
This 47 page pdf, which I believe is a power point presentation, which I read word for word through a dozen pages before becoming mind-numbingly disinterested, included words like “summative [a ruse for the word accumulative] and rubrics [ another ruse for directions printed in red]” professes to preach an alternative system of determining student success or failure other than conventional grading. Hey, until you can TEACH, how is it that you can interpret? AND if you have teachers who aren’t capable of interpreting their teaching results among their students, maybe teaching isn’t their forte?
I would suggest that all this political mumbo-jumbo is someone’s attempt to interrupt actual teaching/learning while not having to get their own job as a school janitor.
Well learned doctrines still pertinent:
You reap what you sow!
Common sense isn’t common anymore!
Don’t get above your raising!
There is no I in teamwork!
The big picture is no selfie! [That one is mine]
THUMP – me getting off my high horse….for now.