A democracy relies on an electorate of critical thinkers. Yet formal education, which is driven by test taking, is increasingly failing to require students to ask the kind of questions that lead to informed decisions.
Museums and other institutions of informal learning may be better suited to teach this skill than elementary and secondary schools…
Informal learning environments tolerate failure better than schools. Perhaps many teachers have too little time to allow students to form and pursue their own questions and too much ground to cover in the curriculum and for standardized tests. But people must acquire this skill somewhere. Our society depends on them being able to make critical decisions, about their own medical treatment, say, or what we must do about global energy needs and demands. For that, we have a robust informal learning system that eschews grades, takes all comers, and is available even on holidays and weekends.
A bunch of teachers in underfunded Texas schools, public and charter alike, are freaking out over the loss of CSCOPE- a curriculum “support” system many use as their sole source of preapproved district or campus lesson plans.
While the overall opinion about CSCOPE isn’t so great (Google for info on recent allegations about how it submlinally supports Communism and is “anti-American”, and other ridiculous nonsense), it’s incredibly helpful for teachers who are new to the classroom or their particular grade level, and can be great when appropriately supplemented with other sources, as I did my first two years of teaching.
Many of the schools who purchase access to the curriculum do so because the annual access cost is minimal compared to that of hiring independent curriculum writers or the purchase of a different curriculum/program for each grade level/subject within a school.
“We actually purchased the curriculum, so does the curriculum belong to the school district or does it belong to the state?” asks Somerset Independent School District superintendent Saul Hinojosa.
Read more in the local article here: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/article/CSCOPE-to-cease-creating-lesson-plans-4532332.php#ixzz2TzXO6BIQ
Hahahahha told you it was hilarious
Pretty sure I’ve had an eerily similar exchange with one of my original 2nd grade students. Child logic is incredibly entertaining.
A highly entertaining list, emailed to me compliments of my brother. This is my favorite part, on students pointing out a teacher’s quirks:I’m sure that there are more, but they have not yet been brought to my attention by one of the following reliable sources:
- A mean kid who has boundary issues.
- A kid that is trying to use me in a revenge plot by tattling on their arch nemesis for making fun of me.
- A well meaning child who also happens to have aspergers.
That, and number four are my favorites.
|—||Bill Watterson (via mikekarnell)|
Article on the forthcoming DSM-5 and one of it’s proposed changes to the bereavement exclusion, which has now been shrotened from one year to an absolutely ridiculous two week period.
What Wakefield worries about is the direction psychiatry is going. “It’s not doing anyone any favors to massively pathologize the world at large,” he says. “It’s leading to a culture that narrows the world of human eccentricity and intensity of emotion.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
In the United States, at least 9% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD—which has become firmly established in the United States—has almost completely passed over children in France
“Instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context. They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling. This is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child’s brain.”
I distinctly remember this topic coming up as a psych undergrad nearly 10 years ago, where the overwhelming evidence pointed to the idea that American parents are dependent on prescriptions for every ailment rather than committing to their health by adjusting their lifestyles.
We always seem to want the easy way out.