education

Home/Tag: education

Writeout.

One student uses an extended cookie metaphor to contrast the writing she was tasked with in high school with what she’d experienced previously. High school has been a series of repetitive tasks, “I have (for the most part) only written one essay–introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. I would clearly state my thesis, structure my evidence into three neat little pieces, and wrap everything up in five sentences rambling about how extremely significant my point was to the world.”

To this student, “My writing as well as my experiences with high school english in general ended up dry and flavorless, like a grocery store sugar cookie that sat on the shelf for too long. Sure, it’s beautifully shaped and frosted, but it usually doesn’t taste that great. It’s the type of cookie you only buy for its appearance.”

In contrast, in middle school, where the student was given more freedom to explore, “I enjoyed writing a lot more; rather than focusing on making a cookie look good, I could focus on making a cookie taste good. They were homemade, and cookies that are homemade tend to contain a part of the person who made them. Despite being rather misshapen and ugly compared to the store cookies, they at least tasted, if not good, how I wanted them to taste. I could write in a way that was meaningful to me, and as a result, I felt as though I improved and grew as a writer.”

John Warner on how to kill the love of reading and writing.

2019-10-29T12:37:13+11:0022nd February, 2020|Tags: education, english, writing|

Horserace education.

Stop with the “playing field” bullshit already! [Education is] not a race. It’s not a contest. I’m not trying to determine who “wins” in my cell biology class. I do test “knowledge, comprehension, and analytical ability”, because I want the students to be prepared for the next course in the sequence, or for graduate/professional school, or the workplace.

If you want to demand grace under pressure, though, I can cover that. I’ve got students who are working two jobs to pay for college. I’ve got students from broken homes. I’ve got students who were poorly served by their high schools who are working twice as hard to catch up. If we must analogize it to a race, these are students who start 20-meters behind the other students, and [law professor Bruce] Pardy is complaining that we are trying to help them get to the starting line before the starting gun.

PZ Myers on education.

Reading this was such a wake-up; it only occurred to me after reading this that school had inculcated “horserace education” in me so thoroughly I hadn’t really questioned that it might, yanno, be kind of a shitty way of doing things…

2017-09-26T08:23:34+10:0027th February, 2018|Tags: culture, education|