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Lesson Plans


Re: On Rationalization

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lon Nuell (lrnuell)
Tue, 07 Sep 1999 09:21:35 -0500


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The answer to the question of "proficiency" exists in every one of us.
The problem seems to be that too few persons are able or willing to
consider very carefully precisely what it is they want the children in
their classes to both know and be able to do. And, we are all prone to
forget to tell them what we are looking for. The statement of
objectives, if you will, should be made available to children who will
then know fully what we expect from them re proficiency. We all know
this, but tend to get lazy when it comes to stating the expectation-
thus, "TSW be able to throw a cylinder", and the student will not be so
concerned with the development of control over the medium and process.

Not only have we gotten lazy in this regard, but we use words without
understanding their true meaning.

If we are role models for those in our care, then we must assume
responsibility for teaching the proper use of language in all that we
do.

"Lawrence A. Parker/OCCTI" wrote:

> Observation: How does "doing one's best" equate with the
> development of proficiency?
>
> "proficiency" is what? exactly? How about "The student will
> be able to throw a cylinder on the potter's wheel." Does
> THIS proficiency say anything about how STRAIGHT, TALL,
> AESTHETIC, etc, the cylinder is? or what age group, what
> mental state, what emotional state, how many hands, a
> student is or has?
> -------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Here is an example of why more people ought to study
> semantics. Not San's of Bob's comments, but the fact that
> the meaning of proficiency seems, at least to me, to have
> changed.
>
> I suspected the possibility and re-checked "proficiency" in
> my dictionary. Merriam-Webster says that "proficiency" is
> the state of being "well advanced in an art, occupation, or
> branch of knowledge syn adept, skillful."
>
> But this doesn't seem to be the same 'quality' sought for by
> State 'proficiency' standards. Rather, these standards seem
> to prescribe a minimum level of acceptable skill.
>
> This hardly encourages the student to learn, perform and
> achieve, and the teacher to teach, to the highest levels of
> what the student/s are capable of achieving.
>
> As for "doing one's best," who or what is to determine what
> one's best is? This is clearly a matter of fulfilling one's
> potential, but potential is an ever changing limit. As one
> gains new skills and more practice/experience, one's
> potential increases. By its nature, potential must always
> be a goal outside or beyond one's current achievement;
> otherwise, there is nothing to reach for.
>
> It is all to easy for any of us to simply say, "There, that
> is my best." While only giving a partial effort.
>
> I. Kant: "People prefer to believe a comfortable lie rather
> than an uncomfortable truth."
>
> Larry
>

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The answer to the question of "proficiency" exists in every one of us.  The problem seems to be that too few persons are able or willing to consider very carefully precisely what it is they want the children in their classes to both know and be able to do.  And, we are all prone to forget to tell them what we are looking for.  The statement of objectives, if you will, should be made available to children who will then know fully what we expect from them re proficiency.  We all know this, but tend to get lazy when it comes to stating the expectation- thus, "TSW be able to throw a cylinder", and the student will not be so concerned with the development of control over the medium and process.

Not only have we gotten lazy in this regard, but we use words without understanding their true meaning.

If we are role models for those in our care, then we must assume responsibility for teaching the proper use of language in all that we do.

"Lawrence A. Parker/OCCTI" wrote:

Observation: How does "doing one's best" equate with the development of proficiency?

"proficiency" is what? exactly?  How about "The student will be able to throw a cylinder on the potter's wheel." Does THIS proficiency say anything about how STRAIGHT, TALL, AESTHETIC, etc, the cylinder is? or what age group, what mental state, what emotional state, how many hands, a student is or has? 


Here is an example of why more people ought to study semantics.  Not San's of Bob's comments, but the fact that the meaning of proficiency seems, at least to me, to have changed.

I suspected the possibility and re-checked "proficiency" in my dictionary.  Merriam-Webster says that "proficiency" is the state of being "well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge syn adept, skillful."

But this doesn't seem to be the same 'quality' sought for by State 'proficiency' standards.  Rather, these standards seem to prescribe a minimum level of acceptable skill.

This hardly encourages the student to learn, perform and achieve, and the teacher to teach, to the highest levels of what the student/s are capable of achieving.

As for "doing one's best," who or what is to determine what one's best is?  This is clearly a matter of fulfilling one's potential, but potential is an ever changing limit.  As one gains new skills and more practice/experience, one's potential increases.  By its nature, potential must always be a goal outside or beyond one's current achievement; otherwise, there is nothing to reach for.

It is all to easy for any of us to simply say, "There, that is my best."  While only giving a partial effort.

I. Kant:  "People prefer to believe a comfortable lie rather than an uncomfortable truth."

Larry

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