Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rethinking Schools

In response to this article, I sent the following email to the Rethinking Schools people. I haven't heard back from them, but then again it's only been two days.



Of course, I'll let you know if and how they respond.

9 comments:

Lillian said...

I couldn't access the original article that you responded to, but I loved your response.

Darren said...

I guess it helps when I actually include the link! Thanks for pointing that out--it's fixed now.

Erica said...

Well I read the article, and truly wish I hadn't. They win the award for writing the most vapid thing I've read this week short of Paris Hilton's lastest diary entry.

Darren said...

Yet there are people--some who run schools--who listen to them.

Robert said...

I'm with Erica. I can't believe how long, and content-free, that article was. Leave it to geniuses like these to take something as simple and absurd as the banning of Legos from a preschool and turn it into a mile-long quasi-treatise on social justice. I felt like I was reading a very bad freshman comp paper.

I think tomorrow I'll have my daughters make some lego spaceships complete with nuclear missiles and death rays, just on general principle.

Mike said...

Yow. Let me make a few quotes and then sum up.

In this issue of Rethinking Schools, we include other manifestations of the attack on teaching with a social conscience. Kristan Morrison ("Shaking Foundations") describes the Virginia Department of Education's attempt to substitute the social foundations of education requirement for prospective teachers with the courses "Instructional Design Based on Assessment" and "Classroom Management."... Similarly, Therese Quinn and Erica Meiners ("Do Ask, Do Tell,") discuss the recent elimination of "social justice" from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards — the guidelines used by many colleges and teacher education programs...

This is important and exciting work. Rethinking Schools is committed to helping nurture a grassroots literature of social justice teaching. And we're committed to defend this teaching wherever and whenever it comes under attack. This is no time to be meek. The world is becoming more perilous by the day. Schools can either be part of the problem or part of the solution."

Whenever I see any author advocating "social justice" (the latest craze is for social justice in math. They're calling it "radical math"), I could literally write the rest of the article myself from a handy dandy list of liberal buzzwords and phrases.

This is simply more empty political posturing masquerading as education. In general, teach the kiddies how to think, not what to think. Would any sentient being imagine that the authors of this article could be trusted to do this?

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a response on this one, Darren.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I read the article and I am stupider for having read it. If a student had handed in this article I would got out my evil red pen and went to town. The most glaring deficiency in this article is that it simply calls names and the authors patted themselves on the back for having inspired disagreement. It furnishes very little in research and leans nearly solely on its own opinion. I saw Stern respond on Fox to "radical math" and as usual his criticism was well thought out. The teacher defending radical math, on the other hand, asked "How would you feel buying a pair of shoes made by someone making a dollar a day." I feel just fine thank you.

Anonymous said...

You have Vista? Or is that skin?

Darren said...

Vista. I've partly joined the 21st century.