Friday, October 11, 2013

Educational nonsense from the US and the UK - Weekend Readings


By Allan Alach

After a lovely break in England, I’ve returned to the fray. The nonsense didn’t take a break while I was away!
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at


This week’s homework!

How Poverty and Privilege Are Fueling America's Gaping Education Divide
It's time for some new thinking about how to address the persistent inequalities that plague our education system.
Not just the USA…..

Case study: The false promise of value-added teacher assessment
‘Value-added assessment is all the rage in school reform these days. It involves the use of complicated formulas that plug in student standardized test scores to try to determine how much “value” a teacher has added to that result.’
One of the curses of modern times is that of teacher performance pay, under a variety of disguises. Teachers in England were on strike last week, over this very matter, and we can expect it to keep reappearing until GERM is eliminated.

U.S. Needs Moratorium on (Privileged) White Men Pontificating on Race, Class, Gender

‘Before I continue, let me clarify that my calling for a moratorium on white men pontificating on race, class, and gender would include me.’
The points made here apply to many other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK…..

Smart learning strategies
What’s the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It’s not just what you know. It’s what you know about what you know.’
Not rocket science, and not necessarily completely new, but oh how we have forgotten this.

Re-wild the Child (via Dave Kennedy)
English journalist George Monbiot is always a good read and this is no exception.
Measure the value of this!!
‘What is the best way to knacker a child’s education? Force him or her to spend too long in the classroom. An overview of research into outdoor education by King’s College London found that children who spend time learning in natural environments “perform better in reading, mathematics, science and social studies.”’

After viewing the Crucible
US reading guru Ken Goodman:
The evil I speak of is what is happening in schools to children in the name of teaching them to read. All of the forces of evil are involved: Greed of publishers and profiteers, greed of politicians who use literacy  to attack schools and stir up fear among their constituents, amorality of school board members and administrators. But especially evil are those whose fundamentalist views of literacy, learning, and schooling are being enacted into laws that are designed to root out heresy- anyone who does not share their  fundamentalist belief- and create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation  for any who challenge their doctrine.’

Bruce Hammonds never sleeps… here’s a selection from the zillions Bruce sends me….
Building a District Culture to Foster Innovation (via Bruce Hammonds)
Not rocket science again, and not necessarily completely new, but oh how we have forgotten this…..
Factory model of schooling wrong
The factory school model of the 20th century [was] designed to mimic what factories needed in their workers,” Ms. Moran said. “Now, [the workforce] wants kids who can really work through issues to generate solutions that work without being dependent on someone at the top to solve it for them.

A Better List Of Ideas For Project-Based Learning.
“Are you running into snags when it comes to bringing project-based learning into your teaching practices? Maybe you've been trying to incorporate PBL into your classroom and you're stuck on ideas of how to proceed. There are some great ideas to move you forward in the following article by the staff of TeachThought .... read on and be enlightened! ”
How Do We Raise Critical Thinkers?
“As students progress through the 21st century, the essential skill set they must possess has shifted. Students must develop critical thinking skills if they are to succeed in a globalized, digital world. This infographic produced by Mentoring Minds provides teachers with a daily reminder of the skills students must cultivate in their classrooms.”

Schools’ Test Focus Queried
Why follow America?
“According to Prof. Yong Zhao of the University of Oregon, our focus on testing only succeeds in educating students using the factory mentality that was the basis for the Industrial Age educational model—a recipe for disaster in the digital age. Read more in the following NZ Herald article by Nicholas Jones.”

Kindergarten gets tough as kids are forced to bubble in multiple choice tests
‘They don’t even know how to hold a pencil yet, but kindergartners are getting a taste of the tough side of education with Common Core standardized math tests.’
No comment required.

1 comment:

bsc computing said...

Although i am not good in reading but never forget to read your articles :) Thanks