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View Diary: Controlling the Pace of Your Own Education (9 comments)

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  •  Lefty, your diary is a wonderful start (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, leftyparent

    to an absolutely necessary conversation for this country.

    I believe that, while the world has changed dramatically in the past 40 years, our educational system -- top to bottom -- is stuck in 1910.  Rather than discuss how the system needs to change, our educators -- whom I respect tremendously --  discuss curriculum and methods rather than the elephant in the room:  are we structuring this experience the right way?

    I think there is a difference in the debate between "should students simply progress through 16 years of education without a break?" and "does the current move-through-the-classrooms-based-on-your-age system fit anymore?"

    We make some adaptations now. Some high school students get on-the-job vocational time during school hours; some take college classes.  Some get to grade-skip entirely, and many homeschooled high schoolers go right to community college after getting down the basics.  But generally these options are only available to the students who would have done well under almost all circumstances.  

    You suggest that a student who masters a subject be allowed to move on.  Try suggesting that inside a school.  What we heard (in three different districts) was:
       -- but what about appropriate socialization at his age?  where will he get that?
       --- demonstrating mastery on a test isn't enough; he needs practice.  
       -- and (my personal favorite) as long as he misses one item or one question, he hasn't mastered it well enough to move on (suddenly 100%, not 75% or even 90%, is the standard!)

    Before the current depression, students with undergraduate degrees were being told:  "You need a masters degree to do this professional job" for a  job that 15 years go required only a bachelors.

    Something is wrong with the whole system.  The ideas to reform the entire system are out there, but the will and interest are not.

    •  Thanks for the second on the discussion!... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      We need to look at our school system with a more "macro" lens rather than just this "micro" obsession over the various components and flavors of a standardized curriculum.

      And thanks for sharing those objections raised by districts about people controlling the pace of their own education.  The industrial bureaucratic paradigm of schooling is the "water" many people "swim in" without really even realizing it.  I think that unexamined paradigm is behind those reasons you were given.

      I also think our higher education system has some culpability here, getting caught up in juicing the market for their "product" by pushing for kids to just stay in school year after year rather than really taking the wheel of one's own development.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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