October 27, 2021

"Do these angry parents know how much planning it takes to fill six hours each day with material that’s interesting enough to keep children from breaking everything in the classroom by hitting each other with it (elementary school) or texting each other TikToks about recreational drug use and open-minded sexual promiscuity (contemporary high school, I assume)?"

From "As a Parent, I Would Rather Fake My Own Death Than Take Over Curriculum Planning From Teachers and School Boards" by Ben Mathis-Lilley (Slate). 

1. That's quite a sentence. I use this blog to collect unusual, elaborate sentences, and this is one of them.

2. The "angry parents" don't believe that what teachers and school boards are doing is just trying to make the material "interesting enough." It's hardly a dispute about interestingness. 

3. Why is it acceptable to portray children as little monsters? We immobilize them in schoolrooms and then express hostility toward them for failing at utter docility. 

4. Just because you can't or won't do a government official's job in its entirety doesn't mean it's wrong to criticize the way that work is done. On the contrary, it's exactly what we do all the time in a representative democracy. 

5. When you criticize the way someone else is doing their work, you ought to go through the exercise of contemplating what it's like from their point of view. So let's do that with respect to the lessons that these "angry parents" are outraged about. It seems that the mechanism of compulsory schooling is used to mold young minds to a social and political ideology. What is it like — from the inside — to be a school official with that agenda? Put yourself in their shoes. After that, go ahead and criticize if you're still so inclined.

78 comments:

gspencer said...

"do you know how much planning it takes"

Lesson plans have been around for years and years. Just follow last year's plan.

Solid reasons exist why "Schools of Education" have the lowest rankings on campus.

gilbar said...

So, Parents need to realize, that;
a) school is Just Daycare ("interesting enough to keep children") NOT teaching children
b) Parents how NO IDEA what caring for their children is like
c) ONLY TEACHERS know how to keep children
???

R C Belaire said...

In Catholic grade school in the 1950's, there were from 40 - 44 kids in each of my class photos. The good Dominican sisters definitely had a handle on controlling, and educating, such large classes. Sure, there were fewer distractions in those days (e.g., no portable electronics) but kids will still find ways to mess around. Perhaps there was something to the threat of immediate discipline/punishment after all...

Leland said...

These arguments are just so silly. Look, if planning is such a problem, then yeah, stay out of education. I don’t want someone that’s contemplating faking a death planning my child’s education.

Michael said...

Quote Tweet embedded in article:

"Should parents or school boards have more of an influence on a school's curriculum?"

The writer misses the point. Parents want influence over what their child is taught. They pay teachers to figure out how to teach it.

BoatSchool said...

The hardest part of curriculum planning is how romkeep the students’ parents in the dark about the indoctrination going on in the classroom.

rehajm said...

These assholes are covering for the assholes teaching your kids they are inherently evil and inferior.

It is startling how hard the assholes are pushing people to find alternatives. I think the assholes are a bit shocked by how the world of incentives works...

Roger Sweeny said...

It would be wonderful if this led to a wholesale rethinking of K-12 curricula. What we do NOT do now is ask, "What should high school graduates know and be able to do?" and then MAKE SURE THEY KNOW AND CAN DO IT.

Instead, we pretend that all students can learn what amounts to a less advanced college curriculum. There is way more than ordinary students can learn, and much of it holds no inherent interest for them, and won't ever be used by them out of school. As a school we then do all we can to fudge that the students remember very little of it a few months later.

I was a high school science teacher and found it ridiculous that the normal sequence was simply a watered down Biology 101, Chemistry 101, Physics 101. The big ideas got lost in the sheer mass of material that the students had to consistently remember for a test and then forget a few months later. Of course, as a practical matter, it's not ridiculous. Every science teacher has taken those courses in college and there are numerous textbooks that cover the material.

Yes, if we only taught what was important, we could not fill five and a half hours without mutiny-inducing repetition. We would have to offer less academic alternatives to those aren't academically inclined. And we would have to stop letting the college tail way the K-12 dog.

Temujin said...

We humans criticize others doing their jobs all the time. Do you think teachers don't criticize restaurant waiters or chefs or bartenders? Or the woman at the register at J.Jill's who was chatting up the person in front of you and didn't get to you quickly enough? Do you think teachers don't make jokes- all the time- about their clients, i.e. Parents of kids they teach?

We all do this. We may not mean harm by it, but we all have a moment where we criticize someone doing their job. Every day for some, every week for others. It may be just a thought, or you may comment out loud. But no one else in this world gets a pass as if what they are doing is sacred and only they can do it. Frankly- I'd rather my kids had a math grad teaching math. A physics grad teaching physics. A history grad teaching history. An English grad teaching English instead of the low intellect education grads taking their lead from the teachers unions and teaching theories on social manipulation that they cannot even understand themselves.

This entire public school system has become a failure. The data is in, the numbers speak for themselves. Our kids know nothing compared to most of the rest of the world. These people have failed miserably at their jobs and we keep sending our kids to them for further dismantling.

Once upon a time- for decades- teachers managed to "fill the days" with teachable subjects and not only taught the kids information, but taught them to be able to think- to come up with answers on their own, to be able to pick apart ideas without feeling scared by other ideas.

Yes- there is a nightmare of competition for kids attention these days, but maybe the way to get their attention is to get people better skilled at grabbing their attention with actual useful knowledge.

The Tangerine Tornado said...

Boy, I love it when people try to explain why they can't be criticized. Let me try it for myself.

These angry consumers have no idea how much effort is involved in keeping a supply chain operating at peak performance. Hundreds of moving parts, production equipment, raw materials, trucks, warehouses, weather, government regulations, etc. Can they do my job? No, they are just teachers, gardeners, plumbers, nurses, retired professors, etc. So, no more complaining when [insert consumer product here], is not available on your local store shelf, or is defective, damaged, or expired.

That felt good!

It's also preposterous. What insulated little entitled bubble are you living in? Your angry parents PAY YOUR SALARY directly, just as consumers indirectly PAY MY SALARY. Welcome to the world of performance feedback.

tim maguire said...

This quote also suggests that teachers are entertainers coming up with a new 6-hour routine from scratch each day. That's just dumb. Teachers have long-standing curricula that varies very little from year to year. That's why teachers who have been around for a while start to phone it in--not because it's so hard to come up with new ideas every day, but because they've done it so many times they can do it in their sleep.

Danno said...

Is a question a real sentence?

Original Mike said...

Schools are pushing CRT and aiding and abetting sexual assault (Loudoun County) in an attempt to keep things interesting?

Disingenuous in the extreme.

RoseAnne said...

The first issue I had with what he said relates to the rest of what he said: "fill 6 hours each day"

Is filling 6 hours per day really a iron-clad requirement or is it a method of organizing the school day? Shouldn't the measure be what the student learned rather than the time spent on it? My nieces and nephews disliked online schooling because of missing on on the interaction with friends and participation in sports and clubs. They liked being able to learn at their own pace - including the elementary school age ones - because they could focus on what they needed at the pace that was most comfortable.

Gator said...

Dad was a teacher for 40+ years, yeah at time it is hard but it is the easiest job in the real world.

1) You have a problem, send the kid home or to the principal's office

2) A guaranteed paycheck with a gold platinum retirement.

3) See number 2.

Fernandinande said...

"Ben Mathis-Lilley is an American frog who likes boys and the chief news blogger of liberal agenda. He also licks hairy D Slate's news section, The Slatest.[1] He was formerly a contributor to Slate."

Martin said...

The parents and the other voters are who set the goals of what is to be taught. As a teacher you get to plan how to achieve the goals set by the voters. This makes it like any other job or profession. The client picks the goal even if you think they are wrong.

When you stray to far from the parameters set by the client you will be corrected.

The child is not the client they are the product. The parents are the client since you as a teacher are only needed to off load the effort of teaching the child from the parent who is otherwise the primary instructor.

wild chicken said...

I've been lurking in the r/Teachers subs for three years and it's been quite an education. Oh yeah they're mostly liberal SJW types but the truth comes out.

It's nothing like it was for us boomers. They bend over backward trying to drag each kid along now. Admin says they must make lessons engaging! And build a personal relationship with each student! But the kids dgaf. The harder you try the less they care.

And just as teachers get caught up on the material they get pulled out for "professional development" days taught by morons who maybe taught a year in the classroom before bailing.

They can't flunk anyone and if the student assaults them it's their own fault. Teachers quit mid semester now.

Nursing and resident subs are eye openers too. Following the lives of others and walking a mile in their shoes taught me to stay in my own fucking lane.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Writing from complete ignorance allows Ben to wildly speculate instead of addressing the issues actual parents have voiced. Like the school boards and unions Ben completely elides the subjects of reading, writing, arithmetic and critical thinking. In fact the pornography and CRT-framed socialization are not the main problem in schools. The poor education outcomes are worse than the unsafe learning conditions imposed on children, and it’s clear all the other crap school officials are imposing is crowding out actual learning.

tds said...

yeah, let's put weird content officially into curriculum to stop kids from texting each other TikToks with weird content. This should work.

MikeR said...

The author would prefer not to homeschool.
I would prefer not to read articles about the individual choices of every parent in America.

eddiejetson said...

I'm a parent of three elementary school children. In my experience, there's less than 2 hours of actual material in an average school day. The balance is administrative nonsense that advances a child's education not at all. It does, however, prepare them to be a compliant cog in the machine.

Tom T. said...

The article inadvertently highlights how extremist content makes its way into schools. Curriculum development is a huge, time-consuming task. Then some activist group comes along and says, "let us make your job easier -- here's a ready-made history module that you can just drop right into your syllabus." Plenty of schools are going to jump at the offer, particularly when it's dressed up with language about diversity and combatting racism.

Jim said...

When I was young, I read a biography of Paul Revere. His Dad put him in a Silversmith apprenticeship at 13. I was so jealous. I would’ve been much happier in an apprenticeship than school. I’m not totally sure that school as we know it is the best way. Particularly for boys. I mostly supported myself in engineering school by working in an R/D lab which was very educational.

rcocean said...

Parents don't want to get into the details. They just want certain things taught and certain things not taught. Somehow kids got through K-12 without learning about Trannies or Critical Race theory for 200 years. So now, angry parents just say "Don't teach that". That makes the teachers job easier, not harder.

WHen libtards think they have the power, they just ram things through. Anyone who disagrees gets censorsed and deplatformed. When they don't have the power, they play the "Gosh, what's the big deal?" and "Its so complicated and nuanced" and "There is no XYZ" game. With CRT the liberal/left is trying a two prong approach, you have the FBI/Garland trying to label parents who object as "Domestic Terrorists" while the MSM pumps out articles like this.

retail lawyer said...

Don't teachers just use the lessons and material they bought from some expensive consultant, like Merrick's son-in-law? Seems pretty easy to me.

dmoelling said...

Local School Boards are an excellent example of what happens when you remove responsibility from elected office. Most school boards have little true authority both in statute and practice anymore. Hiring and firing are really run by the union contracts and state licensing boards. Curriculums are hidden in ed school jargon and not written for the public.

If they had true authority to hire, fire and set goals elected board members might be truly feel responsible and that they did a worthwhile service. It seems too many teachers are doing this as a regrettable option rather than a worthy choice. I saw this in my Junior High School in Chicago during the Vietnam war. The women instructors and older male instructors were really good while the draft-dodging young men were slackers all.

Critter said...

I don’t understand the view expressed in this article that school planning is so difficult. Anything that has been done in so many schools and school districts by so many people for so long is by definition not very difficult. It’s not like they are calculating the re-entry angle of the Space Shuttle. Yet it is the progressive view behind the statement - experts know best - that has put American education in such an increasingly failing state despite Americans generously providing high levels of funding. Note that all studies have shown that funding above threshold levels has little or no impact on educational outcomes. Which is why parochial schools and home schooling achieve better results than public schools. In many cases the parents who are now awakening to the pernicious agenda of so-called educational experts could do a far better job in school curriculum planning in their spare time. The educational king has no clothes. It’s time to focus on providing a liberal education focused on the critical skills in the STEM area and the critical thinking skills of the arts. Nothing new to either area. Just get on with it in earnest and get rid of all time spent trying to engineer students into good little Progressive soldiers.

Paddy O said...

As a customer I'd rather fake my own death than prepare a meal for my family all of whom have their own tastes and allergies. Do the angry reviewers on Yelp know how much planning it takes to prepare meals for hundreds of customers a day and manage the wait staff? We already have the health board watching over us so customers shouldn't have a right to complain about their food. The reviewers aren't chefs so don't know what their family likes or needs to keep them healthy so if I serve rotten veggies and soggy hot dogs they just need to accept it

Big Mike said...

Regarding point #5, I find it easy to criticize self-described “educators” when their efforts result in anal rape of a teenaged girl. I even find it easy to criticize American feminists, including Althouse herself, for being overly blasé about the event. I find it easy to criticize self-described “educators” when they tell a father to his face that his daughter was not raped when there is a police report, a rape kit, and, IIRC, an arrest. I find it easy to criticize a school superintendent who later claims he received no report when it later turns out (1) he certainly did, and (2) he actually responded to the report via Email. (Emails being a legal document with legal retention requirements, as a law professor might be aware.)

Eleanor said...

A teacher who can't engage a classroom should find another occupation because getting kids involved in the learning process is the cornerstone of teaching. I taught 13 year olds I needed to engage 180 days every year. "Interesting" wasn't all that hard. Variety and a teacher's excitement about the subject herself is the basis for engaging the kids. Lesson planning is one of the fun parts of teaching, and one of the parts I miss most. What has become apparent is how many parents don't like their own kids. Parents who successfully homeschool enjoy being around their own children and have no problem finding things to do with them. A successful classroom teacher has to make the leap to enjoying being around other people's children. If parents can't believe a teacher would like their kids enough to want to teach them, then maybe they should work on sending more likeable kids to school.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Thou shall not criticize a loyal Teacher's union employee.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

the collective left have a little catch phrase all ready to go if you dare criticize them.

"How Dare You!"

kristen said...

Gosh, if only teachers were required to have a Master's-level education in "how to teach children"! They could even specialize by subject or developmental age! Imagine. Then they would certainly know how to do their jobs.

If you don't want to be a teacher, well then quit, go get a different job, and stop whining. Signed, stepmom of an elementary kid.

(And the year before COVID, our city schools missed a third of the year when teachers decided they didn't want to teach and went on strike instead, over changes to their unsustainable pension structure. Not a whole lot of sympathy from our community. You're paid to do a job just like I am, so do it or get lost.)

Chris N said...

A lot of people who play football don’t spend much time reading and writing .

Some people who read and write about football have spent time playing football, but there are relatively few.

Many people now writing about football write for money and influence in a ‘culture’ heavily influenced by a new type of religion.

These same people also write the same dull, predictable ideas about eduction and current events.

Howard said...

Anger shows a lack of emotional control demonstrating a immature response to conflict.

Wince said...

Althouse said...
It seems that the mechanism of compulsory schooling is used to mold young minds to a social and political ideology. What is it like — from the inside — to be a school official with that agenda? Put yourself in their shoes. Put yourself in their After that, go ahead and criticize if you're still so inclined.

In order to deliver the party-line social and political ideology, doesn't most of the contested CRT curricula come basically prefabricated by consultants? Moreover, it turns out the purveyors of CRT use that same element of "privatization" to prevent such free criticism.

Loudoun County Forces Parents To Sign NDA-Style Form To View CRT-Inspired Curriculum

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is requiring parents to sign a form comparable to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to view a portion of the district’s new curriculum inspired by critical race theory, according to documents reviewed by the Daily Caller...

Curriculum presentations can only be given in person and parents cannot broadcast, download, photograph, or record “in any manner whatsoever.” Downloadable files of part of the curriculum are available on LCPS’ website, per Second Step’s copyright policy.

narciso said...

yes many kids don't care, but that's squirrel as to the actual content, under discussion,

Iman said...

Hmmm… a smug, still wet-behind-the-ears, childless, smart-ass, lefty corksoaker: just who I want to hear from re: children’s education.

Achilles said...

I am noticing that the media and Ann are pretending that there are not hundreds of STUDENTS in the Loudon school district who just walked out of classes to protest the rapes committed by boys in skirts.

The people pushing this agenda are covering up rape.

This isn't just about disgusting marxist propaganda. This is about democrats instilling an actual rape culture into our schools. Every leftist institution has been caught covering up rape and sexual abuse by the most powerful members. Bill Clinton is still a hero to these people.

Joe Biden is a rapist.

Handmaids tale was the democrat/globalist wet dream that they are trying to project onto actual decent people.

Randomizer said...

I taught high school physics, and had very few parents complaining about my curriculum. I didn't address intersectionality or undermining the patriachy, so when parents did complain, it usually had to do with the metric system. Those complaints were easily addressed.

Students used their phones extensively in class to measure time, direction or angle of incline. Otherwise, they weren't to use them at all. I never had any interest in whatever TikToks they were sending around or their interest in drugs or promiscuity. That system worked well for everyone.

Teaching is a challenge, but is very gratifying if one isn't attempting to slip in some shady agenda.

Quaestor said...

Let's assume Ben Mathis-Lilley knows nothing about plumbing except the gross old saw about certain materials flowing downhill. Since he writes for Slate he probably earns less than even a journeyman in the trade, so it's a likely assumption.

He hires a master plumber to install a guest WC in his home and pays handsomely for it, in fact he's charged the whole megillah to his Visa. However, this new facility coughs raw sewage onto his floor rather than flushing. Mathis-Lilley assumes he's been ill-served by the plumber, and complains to Visa, but the claims department agent denies the refund on the grounds that Mathis-Lilley is unqualified to criticize a master plumbers work. Would he submit to that and pay up graciously? Somehow I doubt it.

Real American said...

how hard it is to do a job that only requires you to be more intelligent than a child and then pays you to take the summer off?

Fernandinande said...

Anger shows a lack of emotional control demonstrating a immature response to conflict.

It's fortunate that rioting, vandalism, arson and looting are mostly peaceful activities.

gahrie said...

The vast majority of the problems in education today stem from the inability of the Left to accept that Black kids perform worse academically and behave worse than other students. Instead of dealing with a toxic culture and the truth about IQ, we try to explain it away by racism.

Birches said...

A little insight into what's being taught in public schools right now:

My kids attended a more traditional charter school before we moved out of state a couple of years ago. We moved into one of the top school districts in the state. All of the Great School ratings were 9/10.

My Seventh grader elected to go back to school this year after being homeschooled during the pandemic. He said they just had a test where they were given a sentence and they had to identify the noun and verb. This is an advanced English class. He said only him and one other person got 100%. I asked if the sentences were hard. He said, one example was, "the tall tree swayed in the breeze."

This is the state of public education. I don't blame his current teacher. Learning nouns and verbs isn't part of their curriculum, but she wanted to make sure they knew. It's all the other teachers that taught those kids before that deserve condemnation. Perhaps there should have been less focus on entertaining and more on learning.

Lurker21 said...

Lifestyle op-eds do tend towards ridiculousness lately, don't they?

NCMoss said...

There are a lot of weak links that prevent children from gaining a basic knowledge of the three R's while being pushed through public schools - family stability, curriculum, discipline, and mediocrity on the part of the schools in order to grow their bureaucracy. However, the lack of focus on literacy is the worst because of the disastrous social outcomes it creates. The pipeline to welfare and prison isn't through institutional racism, it's because the schools fail at teaching basic skills and no one gives a shit.

Roger Sweeny said...

@ Temujin - I mean this with the utmost respect but if you really believe, "Our kids know nothing compared to most of the rest of the world", you are full of s**t. Students are expected to learn way more than is realistically possible. So in that sense, almost all schools are failures. But having said that, the US is near the top of the pack. See the wonderful color-coded chart at The New 2018 PISA School Test Scores: USA! USA!.

Yancey Ward said...

What a load of fucking horseshit! We have only been teaching children in schools for hundreds of years.

Joe Smith said...

Teachers signed up to teach...it's kind of in the name of their profession.

What should not be controversial is the notion that parents (you know, taxpayers who employ them) should have a say in what is being taught.

I find it hard to believe that we disagree about having books with illustration of minors sucking cock.

As for phones, in my kids' high school (private), they were not allowed to be used. If they were used in class they were confiscated for the day.

Not difficult.

Aggie said...

It's pretty amazing watching this debate on two different subjects, making people on all sides turn purple.

Parents don't want to take over curriculums. Parents don't want to micromanage learning . Parents don't want to be telling school boards there business. So why all the outrage from the Edu-ma-cators?

Parents just don't want porn in the classroom. They don't want their kids indoctrinated with Left-Wing brainwashing and values they do not subscribe to. They don't want them turned into anti-Christians. They don't want their kids taught deviant sex. They don't want their kids persuaded into becoming sexual deviants. They want traditional American education with the kids learning how to express themselves coherently, how to balance their future checkbooks, and how to become productive citizens following their aspirations.

Two different arguments. Only one side has cause to be triggered.

Ceciliahere said...

It sounds like the writer is in the wrong profession. I wonder why he continues to teach if he’s reached the point of considering suicide. There must be something. My advice is for him to quit and find another job where he CAN be in control. Maybe, a flight attendant?

Big Mike said...

”Do these angry parents know how much planning it takes to fill six hours each day with material that’s interesting enough to keep children from breaking everything in the classroom by hitting each other with it (elementary school) or texting each other TikToks about recreational drug use and open-minded sexual promiscuity (contemporary high school”

My sister was two years behind me in school. Even taking that into account, in the same calendar year that I studied ordinary and partial differential equations her curriculum as an elementary ed major included Fairy Tales i, Fairy Tales II, and Bulletin Board Arranging. Not was she lacking in brain power — when she retired after years as a teacher she had numerous honors and awards, and was much-loved in her community. But PDEs are a bit more challenging than fairy tales.

CarolynnS said...

Oh my gosh! I followed the link, above, “Loudoun County Forces Parents to Sign Non-disclosure Style form.” Appalling! Absolutely appalling! How can that even be legal?!?! To prevent disclosure of material being presented to a community’s children?!? One parent is legally prevented from sharing that content with other parents?!? This is a PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT! PUBLIC! How can material presented to children in a PUBLIC school be non-disclosable to the PUBLIC?!?!
Sorry for the all caps, but as a parent and as a retired high school teacher, I am appalled at the idea of legally hiding what is taught to children.

Ray - SoCal said...

The public school system has made it incredibly hard to teach kids.

Destroy the discipline system and it's hard to teach.

In 2015-2016 5.8% of teachers were physically assaulted.
https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2019047

Per this survey in 2013 7% of teachers were threatened / assaulted:
https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-68-2-75.pdf

A little newer 2011-2012:
https://www.apa.org/education-career/k12/teacher-victimization

And without discipline in a class, it's VERY hard to teach.

I have a suspicion that is area of research and collecting statistics is being discouraged...

Just some rando on the interwebz said...

This issue is oversight, something that our managerial class wants to completely eliminate. Ok they don't want to eliminate it they just don't want those icky voters and parents to exercise it.

JK Brown said...




Once you have a diverse community, compulsory, public schooling becomes a political football. When the community is homogeneous, the public school reflects the values of the community. When diverse, what is taught at the government school is contentious. Then we have the all too apparent issue of the education professionals that are on a mission to change the community rather than complement it.

School vouchers are a nice middle ground between what we have and von Mises advocacy for no government money involvement.


“If one leaves to the parents the choice of the school to which they wish to send their children, then one exposes them to every conceivable form of political coercion.

“In all areas of mixed nationality, the school is a political prize of the highest importance. It cannot be deprived of its political character as long as it remains a public and compulsory institution. There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions.”

Mises, Ludwig von (1927). Liberalism

stlcdr said...

gspencer said...
"do you know how much planning it takes"

Lesson plans have been around for years and years. Just follow last year's plan.

...

10/27/21, 6:54 AM


This should end any discussion. Period. If they are not, it demonstrates that we are paying teachers way too much.

Karen said...

Back in the '80's when my husband was a teacher, it was very instruction to look at the 457 political positions of the National Education Association that they would mail out every year in newsprint format (this was pre-internet, of course) to every dues paying teacher. Teachers paid their dues to get union representation, but their dues were put to other purposes, mainly political proselytizing for a particular point of view.

JK Brown said...

The "interesting enough" is a patch over the increasing tendency of schools to induce "school helplessness" in students.

"In spite of the fact that schools exist for the sake of education, there is many a school whose pupils show a peculiar "school helplessness"; that is, they are capable of less initiative in connection with their school tasks than they commonly exhibit in the accomplishment of other tasks." 1

The one thing schools will not teach students is how to do their job, i.e., study. Kids are told to study, even punished for not studying, but are never shown how to study. It's easy to study something you are interested in. Because of your interest, you interact and think about the material. But students must learn how to process, interact with material that they have no interest in learning except for the purpose of getting a good grade, how to cause themselves to stop and think.

Teachers stand up and speak, they even try to force student participation in the false belief in "transmissionism"

"And that's because lectures, like books--as I was describing before--are sort of founded on this transmissionism notion: the notion is that 'I as the teacher can get up there and say a bunch of words; then you'll know stuff.' --Andy Matuschak, Econtalk podcast

But the kids are not systematically taught how to parse what the read or hear then process the parts by passing judgement on the statement, supplementing the information, etc. Instead they are given a word salad to stick in their memories without rooting contexts and the lose it quickly. The good students learn how to keep it long enough to get the good grade which is the real incentive of schooling not learning. Obviously, some bits of knowledge stick.

"True or logical study is not aimless mental activity or a passive reception of ideas only for the sake of having them. It is the vigorous application of the mind to a subject for the satisfaction of a felt need. Instead of being aimless, every portion of of effort put forth is an organic step toward the accomplishment of a specific purpose; instead of being passive, it requires the reaction of the self upon the ideas presented, until they are supplemented, organized, and tentatively judged, so that they are held well in memory. The study of a subject has not reached its end until the guiding purpose has been accomplished and the knowledge has been so assimilated that it has been used in a normal way and has become experience. And, finally, since the danger of submergence of self among so much foreign thought is so great, it is not complete — at least for young students — until precautions for the preservation of individuality have been included." 1

1 Source: How to Study and Teaching How to Study (1909) by F. M. McMurry, Professor of Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Maynard said...

My next door neighbor recently retired as a Curriculum Supervisor for the Tucson Public School system.

I do not know what her politics are, but she is dumb as a post. Of course, she has all the requisite "Education" degrees and certificates.

I would rather pick someone out of a phone book to create curriculum than our "experts".

Kevin said...

1. The President of the United States has a much harder job than any teacher.

2. These people had no problem criticizing Trump.

boatbuilder said...

Yeah, and the teachers have to try to keep the masks on the kids...oh, wait. The parents don't want that and therefore should shut up.

Gospace said...

Hey, it's only an hour a week! Every Scoutmaster lives by that not true truism.

There's prep. There's training. There are other meetings attended at least monthly. There's weekend camping trips- 4 PM Friday to noon Sunday is longer than a 40 hours week, and you're with the Scouts the whole time. What are you doing with them? You're educating them! Teaching them how to cook, how camp- set up a tent, a campsite, dining area, etc. Giving them responsibility- the Scouts do all the cooking a cleanup- and organize who's going to do it. Teach them how to properly use knives. At summer camp they can learn all the safety rules for handing weapons at the range. (Maybe Alec Baldwin should as part of his sentence have to go through all the requirements for both the shotgun and rifle merit badge....)

They'll learn first aid from you. Map reading. Safe knife, saw, and ax handling. All kinds of things.

And it's only an hour a week!

And how much do we get paid for this? Absolutely not one penny- I'd say it costs me a few hundred a year to do this. Gas, membership dues, uniform items, etc.

Teachers aren't the only people who teach young people. They aren't all that special for doing so. Although the inner city teachers who actually try should get hazardous duty pay.

Drago said...

Howard: "Anger shows a lack of emotional control demonstrating a immature response to conflict."

Filed under: Things Neither Written Nor Uttered By The Left/LLR-Left During The Summer Of 2020

ThatsGoingToLeaveA said...

6hrs of material.... ha!
I am at home with a sick child.
He is at the dry errase board, hand writing a chart of multiplication tables through 12.
When done, errase. Have a snack. Re-draw.
Fun for hours on end.

Darkisland said...

I taught for nearly 30 years. Yeah, college, as an adjunct, but I know what it is to develop a curriculum.

I also have an MS in education so have the theoretical knowledge of how to develop a curriculum.

I also know/knew a lot of k-12 teachers so I have some knowledge of what teachers actually do in the way of curriculum development.

They don't do much. The curriculum is mainly handed down from curriculum development specialists in the state or local department of education. So the teachers don't have much more to do than present it.

To the extent that they do develop curriculum, mainly in additions to the the standard curriculum, they only have to do it once. The teacher that teaches 5 9th grade history classes doesn't do a different curriculum for each class. They teach the same thing 5 times.

They mostly don't even do much of anything for the next year, just recycle whatever they did the previous year. Maybe update it as the handed down curriculum gradually changes or they get a new textbook.

Teachers should not, as a rule, be developing curriculum. They do not, generally, have sufficient subject knowledge to do so. For example, very few science teachers have science degrees. Ditto most other fields.

It is a bit tiresome to hear how underpaid, well-educated, smart and hard-working teachers are.

They are not. Most people in the US work a 40 hour plus week, 48 weeks a year. Lots of people work more.

Teachers work about 35 hours a week 40 weeks a year, or less.

John Henry

Howard said...

Exactly, Drago. That's why it was so close. That's also why the Democrat machine is likely going to get hammered in the midterms. The woken movement is all about anger jealousy pride gluttony lust indigo and violet

Darkisland said...

Blogger eddiejetson said...

It does, however, prepare them to be a compliant cog in the machine.

Bingo, you got it.

If you do any reading on the history of public education in the US, going back to the 1800's one thing you find over and over and over is that the whole purpose of public education is to make them compliant cogs.

Usually it was phrased along the lines of make them think like Americans, not just immigrants but 5th-6th generation Americans too. Everyone must think the same way.

It is why k-12 teacher training has always focused on methodologies rather than content. It did not matter how little science (or history, or math, or anything else) kids learned as long as they all learned the same thing. More importantly, learned how to think about it the same way.

It is why teachers colleges and departments of education have always been the slums of academia.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Blogger kristen said...

Gosh, if only teachers were required to have a Master's-level education in "how to teach children"!

Should there have been a sarcasm tag there? I don't know if you really feel this to be the case so will give you the benefit of the doubt.

There are plenty of people who do believe that all teachers should have a masters degree. A number of states require it.

Universities believe in it because it is a nice chunk of income. Ed schools cost very little compared to some others that require labs and such.

School Boards believe in it because they can say "We have X% teachers with masters degrees. She what a great education we are giving your children. We deserve a raise"

Teachers like it because the costs are subsidized so it costs them little or nothing and, once they get a masters they can demand more money. "Look, I'm better educated. Give me a raise" although they are probably no better teachers coming out than going in. Just more credentialied.

Realtors like it because good schools ("More teachers with masters degrees than the next town!!!") increases sales and commissions.

Even parents like it because they they have no idea how little education goes on in education schools. They think a masters in education actually means something.

I worked about 5 times as hard earning an associate degree in oceanography (concentration in SCUBA) as I did earning my MS in education.

Requiring teachers to have masters degrees is a fraud of epic proportions. I would make an exception if the requirement was to require a masters in their field. Chemistry teachers in chemistry, math teachers in math and so on. But that is seldom the case.

John Henry

Jim at said...

If there's one, good thing to come out of this COVID mess, it's parents waking up to just what a shitty job those precious educators have been doing.

And for how long it's been going on.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

Our local superintendent is a little Gauleiter-wannabe, asking for help from the central party apparat to fill the death camp quotas of ideologized, brain washed, and mal-educated children necessary to vote Dems into office.

But other than that I'm sure he's a swell guy.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

I am enjoying reading these comments as I am just about to head out the door to parent-teacher conferences at the local government High School.

This will be a hoot.

RMc said...

Why is it acceptable to portray children as little monsters?

Because they are, according to my elementary school-teaching wife.

BUMBLE BEE said...

That shit doesn't fly in Catholic school. The kids he described are often seen on the floor kicking their heels about because they "WANT IT". Dominican nuns have yardsticks to address that kind of behavior. And they do address it.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Here's one example of public school... https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/what-is-happening-at-hazard-high-school-youre-not-the-only-one-asking/ar-AAQ1zhG

Patrick Henry was right! said...

You use the 6 hours per day to teach them until they master the subjects.
See, isn't that easy?
It used to be called teaching.