Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Time to Dump Standards?

I love trend spotting, and especially trends that go my way. In the past two weeks the NYTimes editorial page has featured opinion pieces that illustrate how wrong the current obsession with teaching to standards is, and how much harm it's doing to education. I hope this trend gains momentum - exciting and relevant teaching is what makes it all worthwhile, not making sure 22 24 26 28 kids can pass the same test!

Where the Bar Ought to Be
Published: February 23, 2010
In Harlem, an educator is expecting the best, not the worst, from students at her charter schools.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Are We Teaching?

Susan Engel writes in the New York Times:
Imagine, for instance, a third-grade classroom that was free of the laundry list of goals currently harnessing our teachers and students, and that was devoted instead to just a few narrowly defined and deeply focused goals.

In this classroom, children would spend two hours each day hearing stories read aloud, reading aloud themselves, telling stories to one another and reading on their own. After all, the first step to literacy is simply being immersed, through conversation and storytelling, in a reading environment; the second is to read a lot and often. A school day where every child is given ample opportunities to read and discuss books would give teachers more time to help those students who need more instruction in order to become good readers.

Imagine an educational system that emphasized something other than testing! Might a literature-based classroom even save money, once we eliminate the textbook publisher's restrictive, expensive package deals?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Werner Herzog Interprets Mike Mulligan

Pretty funny stuff if you're a fan of Mike or Werner. (via