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Re: King Donald

On 2/6/2017, 9:21:28 AM, Wolf K. <wolfmac@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 2017-02-06 08:22, Disaster Master wrote:
>> On 2/5/2017, 3:21:39 PM, Wolf K. <wolfmac@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On 2017-02-05 15:01, Sailfish wrote:
>>>> My bloviated meandering follows what Disaster Master graced us with on
>>>> 2/5/2017 10:48 AM:
>>>>> On 2/4/2017, 4:17:46 AM, Ron Hunter <rphunter@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>>>> In my limited experience, larger classrooms generate poorer results.
>>>>>> Ideal class size is 12 to 15.  I have had as many as 48!  Unmanageable!
>>>>> I think such a blanket statement belies erroneous thinking.
>>> Ooops, DM is saying the opposite of what he means.
>> No clue what you mean by that.
> "belies" means "falsifies", ie, erroneous --> correct.

Oops, you are correct sir, you learn something new every day. I was
using it in a sense of 'to reveal'...

>>>>> Different people learn differently, and 'modern' educational systems
>>>>> simply cannot take this into account.
>>> The reason this fact of life is not taken into account is that dealing
>>> with students in terms of their differences is damn expensive. That's
>>> why private schools that offer such individualised learning cost more.
>> And again, you are trying to compare the existing systems to what I'm
>> talking about - developing entirely new systems.
> If you knew the history of teaching/learning, plus the research on it, 
> you'd know that entirely new-to-you systems and methods in fact exist, 
> and have been tried.

Some, sure, but that doesn't mean that all have been tried, and in fact,
if many better ones have been tried, but ar eno longer being used, one
has to ask...


>> Garsh, maybe it would result in something even your obviously keen
>> intellect hasn't thought of yet.
> I don't rely on my own keen intellect. I have this tendency to "waste 
> time" reading about things whose relevance my keen intellect can't 
> really see at the moment.

Reading is fine, but that doesn't mean one shouldn't continue thinking
outside the box.

> I used to tell my students: "There is nos such thing as a useless fact. 
> Sooner or later, it will serve to link two other facts." Of course, 
> "later" may come after you're dead.

Good point, although I would also add that one must always be careful of
'false facts', as those can come back and bite you in the ass.

> Kindergarten teachers were and 
> are in fact taught to "take account" of the huge range of "learning 
> readiness". Why? Because it's expensive to do it the right way.

Again, there is no one 'right way'. Sure, some ways are more expensive
than others, but what I'm suggesting would result in systems always
experimenting with ways of doing a better job at lower cost.

One way off the top of my head I can think of that will be possible over
the next few years (3? 5? 10?) years is automation in education.

There is no reason that every classroom couldn't have an AI (robot) TA,
that could handle more of the mundane and/or repetitive tasks of
teaching, freeing up the live teacher to handle the more 'interesting
aspects of the job.

> The right way has been advocated in the USA at least since the 196os, when 
> even Reader's Digest published articles arguing for both smaller primary 
> school classes and delayed admission for the late developers.

Again with the false claim. Repeat after me...


> There speaks the engineer. Children are now widgets. A school is not an 
> assembly line. The effects of changes in primary school won't show up 
> until secondary school, and some not until later, by which time it's too 
> late to "self-correct". Not to mention the effects of the environment, 
> which always outweigh those of the school.

True enough, but these are merely different parts of the ever changing
equation that must be solved.

> Well, if you leave it up to the locals, you will get patchwork of awful, 
> OK and excellent. That's because locals value things like low taxes more 
> than education, and many of them don't want to spend money on education 
> the competition.

They they get what they pay for and deserve.

This is the beauty of freedom. Everyone makes their own bed(s), and have
to sleep in them.

> Three anecdotes to illustrate that point (you can find statistics on 
> Alfie Kohn's website to support part of that complex point):
> a) Back in the 1970s, we subscribed to a concert series in Sault Ste 
> Marie, Ontario. This series was combined with the series in Sault Ste 
> Marie, Michigan. The Michigan concerts were held in their high school, a 
> lovely early 1900s building with an elegant auditorium with gorgeous 
> acoustics. One time, I chatted with a teacher there. I'd asked about 
> piles of textbooks stacked up in the area outside the Principal's 
> office. These books were handed out every day _as needed_ in different 
> classes, and gathered up again, because the school didn't have enough 
> money to lend a book to each student. Why? Because the locals refused to 
> vote increases in the school tax. A few years later, it got even worse: 
> Schools in many parts of Michigan were closed in February and March, 
> because the boards ran out of money.
> b) I gave a talk to a Rotary Club many years ago, about why teachers 
> deserve professional autonomy and salaries. (Both, but especially 
> autonomy, were and are much higher in Ontario than in any State whose 
> education system I have knowledge of.) Afterwards, one of the visiting 
> members (a lawyer) suggested to me that we were educating too many 
> people: He was quite clearly worried that some of those "too many" would 
> compete with his children for places at University.
> c) My daughter moved to Brownsville, Texas, a couple of decades ago. 
> (She's a nurse). One of the things she noticed early on was that 
> Brownsville citizens voted to raise school tax when asked. To judge from 
> my grandchildren's schooling there, the Brownsville system works very 
> well. For the record: for one half of a school year, she enrolled one 
> son in a charter school, believing it would do a better job. One 
> half-year only, please note.

So remove the governments from the equation completely.

Let teachers do their own thing. Start and run their own schools, first
in their basements, then the successful ones will grow, and the
unsuccessful one will die. Let competition run rampant, free of
tyrannical govt regulations imposed at gun point.
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