Sunday, June 10, 2007

Link: The Other Things Kids Need To Learn

Never mind the kids - I'm still learning these things! Link.

posted by Working From Home Today
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2 comments:

Anonymous Brenda ~ 2:57 AM

I agree these things are very valuable to learn and should be taught more explicitly in schools. However...

1. Schools, especially those in the sates, Ontario, and Alberta, are under immense pressure to teach to standardized tests because of the public's push for "accountability in education" (personally, I can't think of anything more irresponsible than sitting kids down for a pencil and paper fill in the dots test and suggesting to the public that it is in any way an accurate representation of intelligence). These tests do not test for these things. The public needs to speak up if they want this changed.

2. Many vocal, influential (read wealthy) parents are all hyper focused on academics and do not value the existing courses that do teach these things (Business ed, Home Ec, Auto Mech, Life Transitions, Media Studies, Drama, etc.). Again, tax dollars are only going to be allocated for what the public is demanding.

3. I disagree about the characterization of teachers who teach these things as being out of the ordinary. I teach most of these skills in my high school English classroom and I really don't think I'm that exceptional.

4. The suggestion that our kids are not allowed/required to be critical thinkers, listeners, readers, viewers and consumers in general is ludicrous. The idea that we are the only ones embedding the concept of competition in their innocent little heads is ridiculous (I do battle with competition daily). The generalization that teachers make learning boring is offensive. There are bad teachers and good teachers, just like there are good parents and bad parents.

5. Why is it suggested that schools are deficient because they do not teach absolutely everything anyone ever needed to know about how to do everything? Are they perfect? No. Are we working on it? You bet, but with continued funding cuts. What happened to parents? Since when is teaching your kids about life a "favor?" What happened to the community? What happened to experience?

It's a shame that good information had to be contextualized with such unfair, misleading, and damaging assumptions about education. Why not phrase it as something that could supplement what your kids are already learning or reinforcing what we are trying to teach in schools or better yet, how to do your job as a parent.

Sorry this turned into a rant on your page... I'll shut up now.  


Blogger Working From Home Today ~ 4:18 AM

Good response. I hope you add it to the author's site (he's far more widely read).  


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