Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ignorance By Design . . .

Professor Nassar's guest OD editorial, "We need to pave the way for good teachers," is a good read.

I agree with Mr. Nassar. Except for courses on how to do lesson plans and and use materials in the classroom, most of the education courses I took years ago were a waste of time.

What Mr. Nassar does not realize is that the education establishment does not value subject matter "knowledge" as it did 40-50 years ago. In fact, it devalues it. Now the emphasis is on "performance" often judged by subjective rubrics. Students now often work with each other to "construct" their own knowledge, the teacher's role having been reduced to mere facilitator.  That explains why teachers receive no respect and classrooms have become unruly.

This does three things that are of benefit to those running the Government:
  1. The flow of knowledge from one generation to the next is cut, leaving students ignorant. That makes them easy to manipulate both in the workplace and politically later in life. 
  2. They are trained to work with each other -- good preparation for the workplace of tomorrow where they will be expected to perform but not question what they are doing. 
  3. A need is created to vastly expand the numbers of workers in the classroom. Emphasis on "performance" requires smaller classrooms and numerous aides so that student activities may be properly supervised. This gives those controlling the school system political leverage in their communities because so many paychecks depend on them.
The fact that students often graduate knowing less than their parents -- but have attitudes that they know more -- is by design.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Actually, what Mr. Nasser suggests, to offer "education courses for certification every summer," for graduates who did not take a teaching track in college, was in fact done in the 1960's in New York State during a "teacher shortage," but the unions soon quashed that. Strikeslip, I'm no fan of the educational system, having taught in it a short time after retiring (with a renewed certification), but I find your Three Benefits to Government resulting from popular classroom teaching techniques to be somewhat like conspiracy mongering. While various educational fads have been perpetrated on parents and students over the years, I think where discipline is evident in the classroom (and it has to start at the top in the administration), students learning in groups can be very beneficial, placing students in a learning situation where they are more active in the process and accountable. Just because these skills of working together might be of use to some future dictator ... if true ... is no reason to constrain such improvements in the learning atmosphere.
That would be like saying we should not allow students on the Internet because some day they may join a terrorist plot in a Yahoo group.