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View Diary: Does size really matter? (73 comments)

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  •  Bill Gates (14+ / 0-)

    Bill Gates recently wrote an op/ed in which he suggested that we take the best teachers and give them classes of up to 40 students.  

    Yet, the expensive private school he attended here in Seattle has a student/teacher ratio of 9-1.  

    I found it laughable that he would take the time to write such a piece of crap when his own education was the result of a completely different set of circumstances.

    " The fact that the two worst mass murderers in all history, and arguably the third, were atheists who promoted an expressly atheist philosophy is a strong correlation" -uid69561

    by otto on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 07:05:29 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's curious (8+ / 0-)

      I can see that a tech class of AP students could cope with that, after all, college lectures can contain hundreds of students.

      However, they are supplemented by tutorials, seminars and one-on-one.

      Even if 40 students could get calculus in a large class ... we expect our students to ask perceptive questions. Where would be the time to answer them?

      Bill Gates, creditable though his efforts are, appears not to understand that most students do not "learn" in quite the way he did.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 07:44:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BG wants monitors (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        otto, on second thought, Tookish

        to supervise students on computers completeing Computer-Assisted-Instruction modules.

        http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/...

      •  College lectures are also addressed to young (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        otto, on second thought, elfling, draba

        adults, who differ cognitively in very fundamental ways from children.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 09:18:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  AP students (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, bkamr, antirove, Marie

        and others who are highly successful by High School are often already buttressed against large class sizes and even mediocre teaching methods. They have the internal scaffolds and schemas that allow them to learn with less effort and with greater internal drive. It's other students (high numbers w/ undiagnosed learning disabilities, executive function deficits, and mental health issues, to name a population which while relatively invisible, exists nonetheless) who utterly disappear in large classroom settings.

        This:

        Bill Gates, creditable though his efforts are, appears not to understand that most students do not "learn" in quite the way he did.

        is exactly right. And it's why professional educators, those who are knowledgeable about how we learn and how to teach, should be the ones driving reform. Not those who made it through school easily or were highly successful once they left.

        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

        by Tookish on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 12:05:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How about the schools he sends his kids to? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 02:05:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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