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View Diary: Tools of the Mind Shocks Education (36 comments)

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  •  It's not a way (1+ / 0-)
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    Liberal Thinking

    to get the kids to conform to an arbitrary standard? Really? How so?

    Calling it play does not make it so. Like calling something art when every kids' project turns out the same -- it just isn't the same as the real thing.

    You are looking for something to graft onto the existing system. I am not. The idea that schools might use some curriculum based on some standards does not mean it has to devolve into a project-based curriculum that can be toted up on a checklist. Learning need not be that orderly. We have just been sold a bill of goods that that's how it has to be done.

    I am deeply in favor of teachers' unions, btw. I am in favor of all unions.

    I do, however, run a private school in FL. It is a specific kind of private school -- one that operates as an umbrella school for unschoolers and other homeschoolers.

    Yes, I know not everyone wants to unschool/homeschool. Nor can they. Nor should they. But I bring it up to point out that not all private schools are some rich kid's get-out-of-public-school card.

    And to point out that there are many ways to observe a child's development, growth, needs and interests and to guide and encourage and support a child. It does not have to be a standardized process, producing standard, pre-approved products.

    Don't like homeschooling/unschooling? Here's another way to change public schooling -- http://www.marionbrady.com/

    It's too simple and not focused on testing or standardization -- nothing a test publisher could make money on really -- so it hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. But at least Marion is looking beyond what can be tested, what conforms to standards, and he's looking at what students might actually need for the future.

    I'm glad you are studying all of this. We need more people to look closely and act -- to save public schools and to help the children caught on the testing/conformity treadmill.  (Does it bother you that so many kids in public school look like they are on their way to work at Target or Walmart?)

     

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't say it's not a way to get the kids to conform to any standard. It does, in fact, reduce the number of problem incidents. I'm sure the teachers appreciate that.

      What I said is that it's a benefit to the student. When they want to accomplish something it makes it easier for them to do that.

      I'm not looking for something to graft on to the current system. My position is that focusing on methods is a way to move away from attacking teachers and the public schools, and a better means of improving the quality of education.

      Does your private school have union teachers? If all the teachers are actually parents, then that's unlikely. One of the purposes of convincing parents to move students to private schools is to eliminate unions, because they know that most private schools don't have unions.

      I'm fine with home schooling, per se. What I object to is using private schools and home schooling to attack public schools. That's the strategy. We need a counter strategy that's more powerful, and focusing on things that actually improve quality is the best counter strategy.

      I looked at the link you provided, but I'm not sure I understand what Marion Brady does. Maybe you could provide a brief summary and why you think it's beneficial.

      I don't approve of a cookie-cutter approach for education. How you evaluate these methods is very important, and people need to think about what they want and set the goals appropriately. I think we'd agree on that. I don't see Tools as the only means to improve quality, just one example of something widely agreed to be successful.

      Finally, I'm not studying this. I'm urging people to change political strategy. Other people are studying it, and I wanted to point out something they say is of great benefit. I think this program needs to be publicized. But the bigger point is to change the discourse away from a political attack and on to something that will improve education.

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