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Re: I Need Some Data On WOW

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Aug 26 2002 - 03:18:28 PDT


>From: Maggie Tucker <mtucker@nashville.com>
>. . .which stands for Working on the Work, a school-improvement
> treatise written by Phillip Schlecty of the Center for School
> Leadership Reform <snip>

> My new principal is perverting (at least I hope she is perverting)
> the message <snip>

> I've read Schlecty's work this weekend, and I really can find
> no evidence that he wants any class to be this simplistic. <snip>

Okay....this is the same ole dress just wearing another hat! This is what
happened quite frequently in the early to mid 80's with the Madeline Hunter
thing. Administrators not understanding art education and how students
learn art could take her book, a book designed to help teachers (not
administrators) to plan, instruct, and evaluate themselves for "self"
improvement....and used it to observe, judge, and condemn teachers.
Hunter's writing was more a convergent process too, meaning it certainly
didn't take into consideration creative divergent critical thinking,
synthesis, etc., that fuel and drive the arts.

It was a large enough problem of some epic scale such that Madeline Hunter
came out with a new book entitled, "What I Have Against Madeline Hunter!" by
Madeline Hunter.

The real problem, if we understand it so that at the very least we aren't
beating up on ourselves...is that every so many years "Joe Public" goes thru
a squeezing of their finances like blood from a turnip, blames education and
taxes....and "Sally Education" responds by showing attempts to jump thru new
hoops. New authors/theories are welcome at such times for administrators
who no longer work to represent and defend their staff....but whose jobs
have been defined to answer to the public. Such administrators take on a
presumption that their job is to help teachers improve. THAT means that
something therefore is WRONG with each and every teacher, and by God they
are going to find out what it is!

We didn't know how to handle the Hunter thing...and after a decade or two of
rampage, its fire went out. It left a good number of teacher's careers
destroyed in the wake of its path....and education no closer to figuring out
what is the best solution NOT so much to help kids learn as to appease the
wrath of tax payers on the squeeze! The "Jump-thru-the-Hoop" syndrome I
think I shall call it....

I can certainly empathize, and hope things go well for you. I have no real
suggestions of helps at this time other than to not let yourself get caught
up in the faculty room disdain which makes the air so thick you could cut it
with a knife; for that will only pit the "us versus them" thing more, only
making tensions that much greater. In the end, administrators might feel
some embarrassment...but it will be the teachers who suffer most. Its
important to identify the beast for what it is...and that is the new hoops
to jump thru every so many years because of this taxpayer supports education
thing. At least when the pressure turns up, and fingers point your
direction...understand the beast is wearing another hat but wearing the same
dress, and don't allow your own self-confidence to dwindle and beat up on
yourself!

Larry S.
http://www.artlandishconcepts.org

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