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‘Education Reform’ Category

  1. Evidence-based education — When?

    July 30, 2017 by Tunya

    Desperately Seeking Evidence-based Practice In Education

    There are at least two reasons why we should study the Whole-language experience if evidence-based education practice is a goal.

    ONE
    Dress-Rehearsal: The entire, long, frustrating experience of how this now generally discredited method was initiated and sustained can be seen as dress rehearsal for the fads and untested methods being thrust upon us now. There is considerable literature on this topic, though unfortunately, few confessions by those largely responsible for the error of their ways. This would add considerably to the insights needed to understand how these movements gain traction and overcome opposition. For those opposing some of these new methods for the 21st Century the insights from this study would be enormously beneficial. Is there, maybe, such a book or article already?

    TWO
    Characteristics of the Followers: Not everyone falls for the latest trends and fancies in education. But, during the Whole-Language debates Patrick Groff (1924-2014) did identify six such characteristics:

    “The Special Attractions of Whole-Language (WL)
    1 . . . educators historically have been notorious for their inability to resist the lures of educational innovations, regardless of whether or not they have been empirically validated.
    2 . . . WL relieves educators of much direct personal accountability for the results . . .
    3 . . . WL appeals to many educators’ romantic and/or humanistic interpretations of what is healthy child development . . . honoring children’s freedom and dignity is held to be more essential than how literate they become.
    4 . . . in the past, educators have ignored or rejected most of the empirical findings in practically all aspects of their field of endeavor.
    5 . . .the apparent simplicity of WL is alluring for teachers . . . With WL, teachers do not have to submit to pedagogical discipline that a prescribed course of direct and systematic instruction demands.
    6 . . . educators who have liberal social, economic, and political views doubtless are charmed by WL’s decidedly left-wing agenda . . . ”

    I will find a link for this Groff article and post it later in case current teachers might be seeking ways not to fall for the enticements placed in their way.

    [posted on Filling the Pail blog, topic: Problem-solving does not exist, July 30, 2017]

    Desperately Seeking Evidence-based Practice In Education – Supplementary

    I said I would provide the link to the full article by Patrick Groff — http://www.readinghorizons.com/research/whole-language-vs-phonics-instruction#special

    His more complete article on Whole-Language and how it spread is worth reading for those who are interested in how shaky theories in education proliferate. By going to the link above there is a “click” provided at the bottom for his fuller article plus more from a Journal in 1997 concerned about language and spelling.

    I know this post by Greg is about problem-solving as a shaky theory, but generally it’s also about how the education field seems to glom onto unproven fads so easily. There’s a lot of that going on right now. It’s important to call out these questionable practices, and Greg does a fine job of it, but is there hope to squelch bad practices?

    Self-esteem was a huge phenomenon pushed in the schools in the last decades. Is current exposure, calling it a “con” or “hoax”, going to sway anyone? See:http://www.educationviews.org/it-quasi-religious-great-self-esteem-con/
    and http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/06/21/why-are-schools-still-peddling-the-self-esteem.html

    [2nd comment posted 31 July, 2017]


  2. need ‘higher standard’ for education

    July 14, 2017 by Tunya

    Education, Especially “Public” Education, Should Be Held To A Higher Standard!

    Because educators can lead people astray, this biblical injunction should be brought forward as a reminder from time to time — “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1, NIV).”

    In these days when truth is being called upon evermore, we are beginning to see more people brave enough to judge and call out bad “science” in education. Thanks to JPGreene and blog for leadership in this regard.

    See also how the self-esteem hype is being unmasked:

    – “It was quasi-religious”: the great self-esteem con”, Will Storr, Guardian, 3 June ’17, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/03/quasi-religious-great-self-esteem-con

    – “Why Are Schools Still Peddling the Self-Esteem Hoax? – Social-emotional learning is rooted in ‘faux psychology’”, Chester Finn, Education Week, 19 June ’17, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/06/21/why-are-schools-still-peddling-the-self-esteem.html

    – Selfie, (the book by Will Storr) describes in more detail than the two articles above how the self-esteem project was pushed through to a global education phenomenon despite poor science.

    [rejected by JPG blog — “mendacity” comment of GF accepted — Mendacity — falsehood, deceit, deception, fabrication, dishonesty, deceitfulness, untruthfulness,  unreliability, spuriousness, inaccuracy]

    [submitted as response, but blocked — ]

    Professional mendacity in the education field should be called out.  It ultimately harms both individuals and society.  The deceits and trickeries used to advance unproven education projects and methods need exposure.  Perhaps a trend is emerging.  See how the self-esteem phenomenon is being unmasked; [quotes as above re self-esteem]

    [to JPG FB, and remains — 

    “mis-stating basic facts” in education is a key issue being raised here.  If people twist “facts” to their own purpose how can genuine education reform happen?  Greene gives an example.  Here is another example of exposing an education project based on hype and misuse of “research” — the self-esteem movement unmasked: –   [quotes as above re s-e]  

    [this is the contradiction, irony, of the blocking – so avowedly promote “choice” — my quote in Joanne Jacobs comment “So as educators increasingly opt for private schools for their own children and often rail against choice, the best that the “proles” can hope for —you know, those who are on long waiting lists for alternatives — is for radically more choices. And that is where public policy needs legislation and laws to open up vouchers and the other plans to help parents choose freely.]

     


  3. keeping the proles down

    July 14, 2017 by Tunya

    Tunya Audain says:  [to Joanne Jacobs blog in response to her topic — Keeping the proles down — http://www.joannejacobs.com/2017/07/keeping-the-proles-down/  ]


    July 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm
    Joanne: Excellent post. Really hoping your title breeds tons more similar titles on this contradiction in our midst — Educators perpetuating poor education while maximizing their own advantages. Sent the following to Education Consumers Clearinghouse:

    “Keeping the proles down”

    That is the title of Joanne Jacobs Jul 12, 2017 blog. It is a title that needs to be repeated, over and over again, by many observers illuminating just how rigged the public education systems in our Western World are. That’s why we need good schools, she says:

    “Kids need access to safe, orderly schools staffed with competent teachers using a content-rich, structured curriculum. The students whose parents can’t help with homework, hire a tutor, pay for computer camp, etc. need good schools the most.”

    http://www.joannejacobs.com/2017/07/keeping-the-proles-down/#comments

    BUT, don’t expect any initiatives from the education establishment or its camp followers (those lofty think-tanks who pretend to criticize and pretend to reform the present systems). It’s not in their narrow self-interest to promote change that denies their own advantages and privileges. So as educators increasingly opt for private schools for their own children and often rail against choice, the best that the “proles” can hope for —you know, those who are on long waiting lists for alternatives — is for radically more choices. And that is where public policy needs legislation and laws to open up vouchers and the other plans to help parents choose freely.

    2nd comment to JJ after reject by JPG 

    Keeping proles down is easy. The education systems refuse to teach reading properly to all kids. The proles don’t have lawyers to decode and read “between the lines”. When scams do happen, the proles haven’t got the capacity to see education frauds for what they are. AND, the think tanks in education merely pretend they are for reform — status quo is retained. When will people call a spade a spade?

    In 1977 Nat Hentoff wrote “The Greatest Consumer Fraud Of All” about the public education system. “Fraud” is not the only term that’s appropriate. “Con” and “hoax” are other words as used in these articles about the unmasking of the self-esteem “movement”:

    “It was quasi-religious”: the great self-esteem con”, Will Storr, Guardian, 3 June ’17, https://www.theguardian.com/…/quasi-religious-great…

    – “Why Are Schools Still Peddling the Self-Esteem Hoax? – Social-emotional learning is rooted in ‘faux psychology’”, Chester Finn, Education Week, 19 June ’17, http://www.edweek.org/…/why-are-schools-still-peddling… (Finn extrapolates the current interest in Social Emotional Learning [SEL] to be of similar type of hype as self-esteem had been.)

    Joanne’s bottom line is that at least those who cannot afford private schools or privileged add-ons should have the basics — “Kids need access to safe, orderly schools staffed with competent teachers using a content-rich, structured curriculum. The students whose parents can’t help with homework, hire a tutor, pay for computer camp, etc. need good schools the most.”


  4. “Stealthy” Education Shifts ?

    May 31, 2017 by Tunya

    21st Century Education “Shifts” ?

    Hopefully, the book “The Case for Contention” will help resolve some nagging questions parents have about education reforms sweeping into schools without their awareness. “Knowledge’ and academic pursuits are being shifted to competencies and “soft skills” as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and a whole host of other unmeasurables. How do you measure empathy?

    Also, age-appropriateness is a concern to parents — what degree of controversy is appropriate at what age?

    Additionally, are teachers able to lead balanced discussions or do they lean on popular texts for their own background learning? A quick search of the Internet yields, for example, in the primary grades books on Math and Social Justice; for secondary history Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”; and in college/university “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” is frequently assigned reading in the social sciences — all rather biased points-of-view!

    Now, since the authors of “The Case for Contention” do say, “parents may legitimately ask that the schools represent their side of the issue” when and how can parents be “legitimately” involved? So much that transpires in schools today is unknown to parents and public. If the aim of public education is indeed enlightenment — “to advance truth and strengthen democracy” — then we need more information about the content of 21st C Learning.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_rsis_1_8?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=case+for+contention+zimmerman&sprefix=Case+for%2Caps%2C755

    commenbt sent to Joanne Jacobs blog, http://www.joannejacobs.com/2017/05/teaching-the-controversy-but-how/#comment-224164.  The review by Steiner is important to read:  http://educationnext.org/on-teaching-controversy-book-review-the-case-for-connection-zimmerman-robertson/ .. He quotes the significant quote by James Madison:  

    A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

    —James Madison (1822)  and lead one to pursue how Dewey viewed Madison's point of view.  Book — Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey: An American Odyssey gives some discussion of Dewey (communitarian) and Niebuhr (libertarian?) ]

     


  5. Significance of Home Education Today

    May 2, 2017 by Tunya

    Significance of Home Education Today

    I am really happy for you and family in the home education experience. I would like to know if you ever contacted any support groups for information or even sharing of lessons or field trips. Also, if any researchers have contacted you for information or observation.

    It is astounding how ed research into home education has ballooned into a huge industry — PhD theses, books, huge conferences (next Global Home Education Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2018).

    I was involved in the early stages of the movement (1970s) but now try to keep a watching brief on dangers and incursions to the field. Please see https://gaither.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/john-holts-conversion-to-home-education/

    I agree with you that we need to be wary of government schooling. In my 1987 academic article I mention that home education is seen by “freedom fighters” as part of a two-fold mission to generally retrieve individual responsibility from "disabling professionals” and the “predatory” state. See:
    https://www.academia.edu/10094489/Home_education_the_third_option

    [This is my response to a reader of my Facebook post yesterday about a parent of five children leaving public school for home education or private education.]