Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Purpose of Education

MSA. HSA. Quarterly Assessments. Stanford-Binet. Test after test. Year after year. I often wonder, are we teaching kids to pass a test or are we teaching kids to think and problem solve by APPLYING things that they have learned? Good test scores are a good thing. Please do not misunderstand that. However, I'd bet a month's salary that if you asked HR folks at Toyota, Ford, IBM or any other multi-million dollar company/industry that they would tell you that test scores might get a candidate an interview, but thinking on their feet and problem solving lands them the job and helps them to keep it.

So I ask, are we doing kids a disservice? Are we churning out test takers and not thought makers? If there is a middle ground, where is it and how do we get there?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Teacher bashing is becoming the norm

We just finished teacher appreciation week here in Maryland. Kids and parents sent us gifts, the PTSA fed us breakfast and lunches and even dessert. We are done with the week, the one week where teachers are treated with respect and dignity that we deserve and we are back to getting bashed. This is evident here where an observer does the typical...observes for a day and makes assumptions about kids and ALL teachers.

However, I was heartened by an article that bashed teacher bashers.

Can we stop blaming the adult who sees kids (in middle school) for 5.5 a week? Can we stop blaming the media when it is the adults who allow kids to sit in front of video games or TV. Can we stop blaming ex-wives or ex-husbands for our child's ills? Can we stop medicating every active child we are unwilling to discipline?

Here is an idea, you do your job, and I'll do mine. When we focus on the child, and we work for the child and we help the child, then maybe, just maybe, we will not need to blame anything on anybody.

Just a thought.