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Lesson Plans

Re: q.e.d.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lawrence A. Parker/OCCTI (occti)
Tue, 23 Nov 1999 08:27:35 -0500

> we were told by a professor that whenever a study is done in another
> country comparing that we should keep in mind that in China, Japan, etc.
> have a "closed" educational system...and that skews the results
> of all comparisons, because the total population is not really
> of the schools there, like they are here...

I know; I imagine that I took about the same grad course myself. Perhaps
this is why Liping Ma chose "Master Teachers" from the U.S. and only random
urban and rural teachers from China.

Still, regardless and the comparison aside, it is disconcerting that only 9
out of 23 *adults* (never mind that they were teachers, and math teachers at
that) could solve a simple problem like 1-3/4 divided by 1/2, nor be able to
come up with a sample problem to illustrate it. What we're talking about
here is a basic lack of understanding, and it is pervasive.

> NYSATA is behind assessing student portfolios with adjudicators
> and the ASSETS Project, a statewide assessment of standards in the arts.
> every discipline, efforts are being made to have students think and
> I wonder if it will help?

I doubt it. We are checking, and in some cases changing, assessment and
standards, but we are rarely changing the one thing which needs to be
changed most drastically - teacher education.

So the ongoing process is the same old Band-Aid and modify: we try to adapt
the same basic philosophies of education when in fact it is these very
philosophies which are wrong. Remember that many of these were developed at
the turn of the century and were strongly influenced by the Industrial
Revolution and the model of the factory. Most of you can look back on your
own education and see this, and it does not get better just because one is
now at the University or College level.

As the author of the article, Linda Seebach, states, "And when people try to
tell you there's no crisis in American education, you can tell them they're
dreaming." Denial, rationalizations and excuses *to and for OURSELVES* will
not save our children.


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