Monday, November 08, 2010
What I do like about the tools is that they remind me of the part in the movie Pink Floyd, the Wall, where the hammers go marching by. I think it's hammers. Well, this is my own little piece of the Wall right here and I am partial to the lyric "we don't need no education." Though, really, Pink, it should be "we don't need no institutionalization." Education isn't the problem. But I guess his point was about institutionalized education. Not the visionary of a Holt or a Gatto, but still good music.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Back to the Seven Sins -- I strongly agree with his second premise:
2. Fostering of shame, on the one hand, and hubris, on the other.
It is not easy to force people to do what they do not want to do....Children are made to feel ashamed if they perform worse than their peers and pride if they perform better....Those made to feel excessive pride from the shallow accomplishments that earn them A's and honors may become arrogant, disdainful of the common lot who don't do so well on tests; disdainful, therefore, of democratic values and processes (and this may be the worst effect of all).
While I agree that what happens to those who don't measure up is terrible, what happens to those who do is not much better. I think tracking can be useful, but it's not without it's downside. I wonder if some of these successful students don't internalize the constant competition and become somewhat fearful that they will find someone better, smarter, or more accomplished. To look at others as a constant source of competition strikes me as a barrier to healthy relationships. But I'm no pyschologist.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
My oldest started reading somewhere between ages 3 and 4, I think. My attempts to use a reading program (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) did not go well. The first few lessons were fine, then she got bored and I got impatient. The CD case of ABBA Gold seemed to provide her more help than reading instruction. I would play that CD in the car, Suzanne asked to look at the case and I'd hand it back.
My youngest started reading around the age of 7. Unlike her sister, she was not a big fan of being read to. However, she started writing earlier than her sister did, so she was working on her own things, at her own pace.
It's nice to have them both reading now. Now go educate yourselves, kids, and let me know when you need me.
If I recall correctly, I found the Helping Your Preschooler and Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics most useful.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
And now to my comment
This is a link to The Diosa Dotada Endeavor, another post that discussed the aforementioned Robin West article and another place where I left a comment. Many homeschoolers and other commented and once again, my comment is not easily found (though it is easily linked).
When I first read the article, I was surprised that it was published and even more surprised that it was written by a law professor. It was very alarmist, not terribly factual, highly anedoctal, and mostly just a rant. As anyone who has read the earlier posts on this blog, you'll know that I recognize that style of writing because it's so similar to my own. But I publish on a personal blog, not a university journal. Clearly I have some career soul-searching to do.
I just want to pull out my comment from the comment field and reprint it here because I like it, it makes me proud (up until the end when I go a bit nutty) and because there are so many comments that if I just leave this here hoping one of my blog's readers will find it, they might lose interest. I'm kicking myself for not linking this blog to my name but I was worried it would reduce the impact of my comment if it became clear it was posted by a nutcase.
- if I counted correctly, it's the 14th - this link might take you directly to it, but I've reprinted it below
Oooo....lookie, it's been so long since I've used blogger -- is it possible you can actually put the pictures anywhere within the post and not just at the top?
Note to non-Ravelers, if you do not have a free account with Ravelry, a few of these links will not work for you because they are to project pages in Ravelry. If you don't have a Ravelry account and you don't knit or crochet, then you needn't worry about it. If you aren't on Ravelry and you do knit and or crochet, then you should get an account. If you click a broken link, my guess is it will take you to a page where you can request an account. Or google Ravelry, or click the button on the upper right of this blog (not the post, the blog).
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
....It's better to do something than to do nothing. Even lolcats, even cute pictures of kittens made even cuter with the addition of cute captions, hold out an invitation to participation. When you see a lolcat, one of the things it says to the viewer is, "If you have some sans-serif fonts on your computer, you can play this game, too." And that's message--I can do that, too--is a big change.
This is something that people in the media world don't understand. Media in the 20th century was run as a single race--consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume? Can we produce more and you'll consume more? And the answer to that question has generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it 's three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Sadly, our present system of mathematics education is [a] nightmare. In fact, if I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done— I simply wouldn’t have the imagination to come up with the kind of senseless, soul- crushing ideas that constitute contemporary mathematics education.