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View Diary: Nation's largest teachers union calls for Arne Duncan's resignation (203 comments)

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  •  Another founding assumption (12+ / 0-)

    I have a post, below, on the founding assumptions of each Sect. of Education. To these we could add assumptions of professional educators, which I think is what we call the people who get degrees in Education and then work in designing and administering education, but not in teaching, and that is:
    1. All students may learn the same things.
    2. There is a definite, but never defined, core competency that all students can achieve.
    3. The failure of all students to learn are explicable entirely by the failure of teaching method.
    4. There is a perfect teaching method for each student.

    #1 is the liberal (in the old sense of the word) assumption. Most of us share it, or want to believe it. Even I would only condition the statement by saying, "although not at the same time."

    #2 is one of the biggest problems and one of the biggest wil-o-the-wisps in education. People will design, redesign, design again, and then modify some more a "common core" or a new trivium, and they will use these impossible task as a venue for politics.

    #3 & #4 are the killers. "Education reform can only be failed," indeed, because there is reform all the time. There's never a status quo from which to reform. There are stereotypes of the bad teacher -- caricatures that get more travel miles than the Secretary of State -- but the belief that all we need are methods, methods, methods, with superhuman capacities to implement them each and all intuitively, is insane and a built in excuse for failure. Whenever the reformer gets the reforms passed, the failures are because the method wasn't right. Now, if we get all our teachers to just write down, "At the conclusion of this lesson, stakeholders will be able to" on the board at the start of each class, that will fix everything!

    It's not a wonder teachers quit. It's a wonder any stay.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:46:47 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Has anyone ever (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, The Geogre, JanL, emal

      stayed with the same set of standards and curricula for even one K-12 cohort?

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:28:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If so, it was before those words (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, JanL, dicentra, emal, quill

        Once we began defining students as lab animals, because data collection was the anterior motive to education, it was ideologically impossible to keep one method for a longitudinal study. The consistently kept methods probably happened accidentally, when the theories were unaware. E.g. "tracking" lasted a whole school career for more than one or two generations, although that's not a pedagogy, per se; 'phonics,' which is only a reading teaching method, and 'whole word' were certainly implemented for two and three year groupings various places.

        These days, though, and particularly since the hyper-awareness of methodology of "educators" has been passed down to teachers with NCLB, I can't imagine a single pedagogy surviving a political administration -- a local political administration.

        "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

        by The Geogre on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:49:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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