Saturday, July 14, 2007


Teachers Will Appreciate This

Sometimes, you really do have to do something to appreciate something. Nobody really knows what it's like to be a firefighter, except firefighters. If you're not a surgeon, you can't really understand what it's like to cut someone open and put your hands inside another living person.

The following may not fully click with you unless you are a teacher. It's a segment of a comment left by Mike, to this post at Right On The left Coast. He addresses the nature of educational fads in the most precise and well-defined timeline I've seen:
You may recall that Texas was, if not the first, among the first states to get on the testing bandwagon. In that, we saw a slight departure from educational faddism. Usually, it is members of the education establishment who come up with and mandate fads. With high stakes testing, it was the Governor and legislature behind the fad. The fads, such as the open classroom concept of the 70s and 80's, promise to solve every extant problem, cost huge amounts of money, and go through several consistent phases: (1) The fad is implemented despite the outcries of teachers who assert that the fad can't accomplish what its backers claim and that it is the dumbest thing anyone ever heard. (2) After about 4-5 years, it's obvious the teachers were right, but too many people are too invested in it and too much money has been spent to openly admit it, so the status quo is maintained for another 3 or so years (even as the schools begin to quietly back away from the fad) until...(3) Even the public figures out the fad is incredibly stupid and the pendulum swings back to rationality, leading to the final step...(4) The fad is dismantled at great cost, taking another year or so. Of course, then the new fad comes along and there we go again.

Truer words were never spoken.
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