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View Diary: Educators and Teachers: Roll Call! (77 comments)

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  •  Tom Kertes (4.00)
    1. I am a preschool/kindergarten teacher currently out of work as I prepare to get a Masters in Teaching so I can teach kindergarten or first grade in the public schools.

    I also teach workshops  on early childhood education and literacy learning.  I am interested in the application of developmental psychology, linguistics and cognitive studies in the classroom.  I am also interested in the political dimensions of education - specifically the politics  of educating (or of not educating) the poor.  Related to this, I am involved in organizing around professional wages for early childhood and child care teachers.

    I believe that caring institutions must be explicit and intentional about the role of love as their guiding principle, without apology. There can be no greater justification for providing good care and education for our children than the value of love. The basis and ultimate justification for early childhood education must be, first and foremost, love - without apology. (Love first and foremost in education)

    2. Washington state funds about 85% of the costs of schooling with state funds, with 15% coming from local levies.  The state is mandated to fully fund basic education, but this mandate has been eroded since a court order first compelled the state to meet its constitutional requirement to fully fund education for the state's children.  Currently, there is no comprehensive early childhood program  in the State of Washington.

    The state's K-12 system is currently driven by the WASL - a homegrown high stakes test.  The test is poorly designed.  

    The state system is also one with little accountability to those in charge.  There are a series of overlapping political bodies, each without full accountability or authority to manage the school system well.

    3. I would say that the first challenge is that schooling seems to be designed to be mean.  The purpose of schooling is not based on children's needs - as it was first designed for state interests in preparing a citizenry for Republican service.  Additionally, the original models of learning are empirically useless, as children learn less in stressful environments that teach seemingly unrelated facts without taking into account the learner's own reality.  If our goal is to teach children well then new learning models need to be applied in classrooms and schools. (Love first and foremost in education)

    Another major challenge it that education professionals, especially managers, are largely incompetent.  The education workforce lacks basic knowledge of learning and content to be able to critically apply theory in practice.  With incompetent managers, the system is based on lack of accountability at all levels.  Most educators lack the ability to clearly articulate an educational philosophy or to challenge poorly designed policies, programs and materials.

    Final, the educational system fails to provide equitable access to quality programs.  Many children from poor families and many children of color receive substandard educational programs because of the political realities of school funding.

    Liberation Learning

    War and Children

    Tom Kertes

    Reader's Way

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