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February, 2016

  1. disabling professionals create jobs

    February 29, 2016 by Tunya


    Confessions From A Disabling Professional

    “ . . . new needs are created just to justify the role and occupation of professional experts . . .” John McKnight, Professionalized Service and Disabling Help, 1977,

    As one who benefited from a school system before it became the self-serving industry it is today, and, now as a granny concerned for future generations, I am constantly searching for explanations how and why all this went wrong. I am from Canada, and I see we are very backward in monitoring our education services. Neither our media nor keen educators as Greg Ashman probe or do investigative work to bring forth troubling information about Reading Recovery, for example, and ask the obvious question — How can a discredited methodology be allowed to continue to do harm to young students? I have anecdotal information that RR is also a common practice here as it is in New South Wales, Australia.

    I’ve been reading a book — The Future of Whole Language, 1996, by Susan Church (at that time a whole-language consultant in Nova Scotia, Canada)— and this is what is said about RR — “ . . .the real danger of Reading Recovery lies in its success. Because the program does seem to help children on their way to becoming readers and writers, it lets the institution off the hook. It allows us to continue to blame the children for their failures . . . “

    It does seem, doesn’t it, that whole-language enables the production of more jobs in education by the act of predictably disabling a portion of students as fodder for the sub-industry of “remediation” or “intervention”.

  2. Noxious rent-seeking

    February 24, 2016 by Tunya

    [ This comment is awaiting moderation by the site administrators.  CBC  20160224 10:00 — 1 hr later still not approved ]   

    Tunya Audain
    Noxious Rent-Seeking Will Grow To Suffocating Levels !

    It is character of a people that — overall — determines the health of a nation.

    If people are generally self-sufficient and have a positive work-ethic, things go well.

    If people feel entitled to government handouts, then the slippery slope is activated.

    The extent to which a government promotes handouts determines character of citizens.

    With a projected deficit of $30 Billion and active talk about a Guaranteed Annual Income this foretells serious character changes ahead. The rent-seekers that voted in Trudeau will soon turn us all into rent-seekers — expecting favors for minimal output. Though the term (rent-seeking) is poorly named the behavior is understood as undesirable — look it up on Internet. It’s being more frequently used for a host of creepy behaviors.

    Please read this short essay (referring to the USA but so cogent to today’s Canada) : Are We Rome? By Lawrence W Reed —« less

    1 hour ago

  3. BS in Science A worry

    February 17, 2016 by Tunya

    Tunya Audain
    February 17, 2016
    Just A Granny . . .
    Awhile back I grew alarmed about current “transformations” in education — the shift from knowledge and skill “transmission” to “soft competencies” of critical thinking, creativity, etc. (in Western English-speaking nations: USA, UK, AU, NZ, Can)

    It was a serendipitous Internet search for “sponsored reading failure” that kicked out an extraordinary piece that speaks to this topic at hand — BS Science.

    Here is a just-retired editor of a Journal on Teaching of Science with a front seat on a quarter-century of watching “constructivism” debase science and the teaching thereof. I downloaded this 60 pager when it was free but academics can access it using their means — Reflections on 25 Years of Journal Editorship. Michael R. Matthews.

    As a granny I am concerned about the legacy we leave future generations plus the dangers for social engineering when politics and beliefs displace science and evidence in policy-making.

    There ought to be an agency or method by which research misconduct can be tapped and countered.

    I am not an academic and cannot possibly do justice to Matthews’ article to raise the proper alarms. But I see that both the author Earp and commentators here are sensitive to the ethics of the matter and we might see some development. Looking forward to the fuller article later this Spring.

    [posted in significant conversation — Unbearably Assymetry of Bullshit — about research misconduct in Science and other resesrch — a lot of good comments, eg. 80% of "research" is meaningless


  4. Andrew Coulson – Home Education

    February 10, 2016 by Tunya

    Andrew Coulson & Home Education

    It’s through the literature and videos that I knew of Andrew Coulson. The information and insight gained from his analyses will remain significant, instructive and cautionary not only for home educators but for all who cherish freedom and the primary role of parents in the education of their children.

    Adam Schaeffer’s suggestions for further reading are welcome:

    I know most of Coulson’s work was in aid of the broader topic of choice. But as far as home education goes, these are some of the issues that are informed by Coulson’s interpretations and which bear watching:

    – “professionalization” of teaching will further bar parents from their primary role in education
    – 21st Century Learning Transformations currently in vogue are shifting “transmission” of knowledge and skills toward greater focus on human development, psychology and data collection — a dangerous move
    – compulsory public education as a project is full of oxymoronic contradictions
    – individualism is a “threatened species” in light of collectivist leanings

    I have heard others say in their tributes that Andrew’s work has been key to the spread of choice efforts and successes. Concerning the four cautions above — the field of home education would have enjoyed a longer relationship with Andrew Coulson’s ideas to further advance the choice direction. The deep feeling of loss is profound.

  5. Germany Drops Whole-Language

    February 7, 2016 by Tunya

    Logical Germans Reject Ineffective Methods

    I read on the Internet that around 2002 Germany banned (outlawed) the use of Whole-Language in schools. In most Western countries it is a rival against phonics as a style of teaching reading. Whole-language as a term evolved from sight-word approaches and was aggressively promoted as a total new paradigm from the 80s in most Western countries.

    In Germany it was used since the 80s but after disastrous results it was declared bad practice. Then around 2002 it was banned altogether.

    The rest of the world that suffers illiteracy is too politically correct to call a spade a spade.

    The rest of the education world pays little attention to research or proven standard practices to take decisive action when poor results from fads and theoretical preferences produce poor results.

    An international group with prominent academics is now committed to bring about practices that improve the life chances of children through effective teaching of reading. See IFERI and look up their topic EVIDENCE for convincing research and arguments to help tackle the illiteracy problem. Our teacher training institutions need to connect with this group.