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View Diary: The most important professionals in our midst (91 comments)

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  •  Teachers made all the difference (16+ / 0-)

    for me. They made life worthwhile. School was my refuge from craziness, and at the same time I, too became a "wonder junkie."

    And today it makes me very sad to think that instead of that influence blossoming for the next generation, teachers are forced to coerce kids into memorizing crap so they can pass the next in the endless round of standardized tests.

    Richard Feynman talks, in his autobiography, "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman"  about the students he had in Brazil. They didn't know how to think because all they believed they had to do was have the "right answers" on the tests that  infested the school system. When I read that, at the time it came out,  American schools were not captives of the standardized test. It was a tool, not a weapon to be used against teachers. Teachers were respected, even loved.

    To bloody hell with "reform" in education-- teach the kids the true meaning of wonder. Ask them how they would answer the question, "Why is there anything rather than nothing?" Show them the real meaning of the word "amazing" and what "perfect" actually is.

    Only then can our country say it is doing a "good job" instead of merely handing out participation ribbons.

    What good are perfect test scores if the kids can't THINK?

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:28:16 AM PST

    •  Fabulous comment. Thank you. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      palantir, ladybug53

      The only entitlement that needs reforming is the inbred belief of the 0.1% that they are entitled to 99.9% of the wealth and 100% of the power.

      by flitedocnm on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 11:55:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  AMEN! Feynman was a superb wonder junkie. (6+ / 0-)

      Common to many posts and thoughts here:

      But the ability to think critically and broadly underlies everything
      Thinking critically is by far the most important thing to teach. It creates the environment for questions that created humanity and science in general:
      How?
      Why?
      What if?

      If my early early ancestor/ancestress hadn't wondered about an easier way to cut up game and LOOKED for a way to make it easier, knapping flint and other stones to create tools would never have happened.
      If all she had to learn was a preset series of answers, there would not have been a human race.

      "Where do we get water from?"
      "The river or the pond."

      "Where do we get food from?"
      "The fruit and nuts and bugs."

      End of test, we don't need to learn anything else.

      A standardized test like that would have killed off humanity at the root.

      my brother-in-law was a SpecEd teacher for his entire 37-year teaching career. My aunt was forcibly retired by her school disrict at 68 so went into the Peace Corps and taught ESL in Addis Abba for 6 years. It is in the blood and bone to want to be a teacher.

      They are an endangered species that is being hunted to extinction - the ones who want to teach because they want to introduce our young to the "wonder of it all" and are not that concerened about the paycheck. Charter schools teach to the bottom line and I will never support them if that bottom line includes numbers with dollar signs in front.

      Rant off

      "You can tell 'Monopoly' is an old game, it has a Luxury Tax and rich people can go to jail." - George Takei

      by daddybunny on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 12:15:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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