“Having spent almost a decade as a graduate student and professor, I was always struck by how resistant to change and questioning academic cabals could be. The growth of online education is yet another example. Many are embracing it, and many are resisting it because it represents change to a world that often moves at the pace of medieval guilds.”— Economist Zachary Karabell, on the unstoppable growth of online learning
My sentiments exactly
Does your boss flip easily?
I’ve been missing a lot. I know. Following #education is a lot like it was two years ago when I first came to Tumblr. This has been a pretty hectic year. Remember last year when I thought my days in the classroom were limited? This school has made me hope that the expiration date comes a lot faster.
My birthday is the 28th. For the past several years, I haven’t had to worry about having to work that day. This year, however, it falls the Tuesday after Memorial Day. We’ll be testing later that week, so I wanted to make sure it was okay that I take the day off.
Bad, Bad Substitute
The sub who was in my class Wednesday was worse than Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher. Every time I’m absent, I ask the kids how things went, and they are all proficient enough to tell me what happened, what work they did, etc., and from all three of my classes I heard bad things. He told one of the girls in my class that they should have a ‘special relationship,’ meaning more than friendship, I’m assuming, told others to call him, and went as far as giving the kids his Twitter name and told them to follow him. Of course, I investigated, and two of my kids are following him.
My 1st block language specialist sat down at a table and said ‘That man was special. He wanted me to stay with him all day.’ She told the kids to ignore him and work on their assignment.
The district contracts substitutes to a temporary agency, a million dollar contract, no less, and one would think there would be a better vetting process; they won’t even allow teachers to cover classes. I emailed my principal and the substitute coordinator at my school. This guy doesn’t need to be around kids.
I never understood tests/exams
I don’t mind them because I’ve always done well on them but I never understood why they existed, moreover why there are multiple ones per class you take. Here’s my take on it.
Why would you develop something that did the following two things
- Create an environment where cramming is actually a feasible thing (exams every week) for a student with 4+ classes, these kinds of classes are a nightmare.
- Reinforce that the talented, gifted, and clearly intelligent students are in-fact, intelligent. Gee Didn’t see that coming did we?
- Reinforce that the less talented, struggling students aren’t understanding the topic and aren’t doing well in the class.
So in effect, this praises and rewards students who do well in class and improves their grades, that sounds about right. But it hinders the students who didn’t do as well, I disagree with that notion and I hope that others do also. Why would you want to hurt the students who aren’t doing well in the class, and their chances of passing the class?
Before this gets brought up, cheaters and students who do poorly are not the same thing and I recognize that. My whole argument revolves around Tests and Examinations being the cause of laziness and professors who do not do their part properly. Help me portray my point to all of you who are taking the time to read this, and let me thank you if you took the time to. It’s something I always attempt to explain in person to friends but it never comes out right which makes most people who are closed minded simply write off my point. So thanks, truly.
If a professor actually made a curriculum that effectively made sense and helped single out the categories of students, I believe exams and tests could be eliminated from the system as a whole.
Give more homework, I know some of you may groan and say oh well that’s just a waste of time. I don’t think of homework as that anymore, especially since I’m in my 3rd year of college right now. Some of my professors don’t teach, legitimately don’t teach or cannot teach properly. So I take any and all homework as a Godsend, because it is practice and solidifies my knowledge in the place of what a professor should be doing. Helps me take my own education into my own hands.
By giving more homework, you would be providing the students the following things.
- A method to be graded from
- A PROPER evaluation of skill
In order for this to work, the grading regiments would have to be adjusted obviously so attendance and homework would need to be counted as the largest parts of a grade. Again most might groan and already not like the idea, but when you’re at my point and you’re paying for school yourself, you want to take the most you can from a class, I very rarely skip anymore nearing the end of my college education.
And what do I mean by a proper evaluation of skill? Well for one, the students who naturally do well will be rewarded as usual, the cheaters can be singled out and be reprimanded you know, given that the professor actually gives a damn and LOOKS for these cheaters. These days you can openly cheat on anything and the professors probably don’t feel like dealing with defiance so they stay seated instead of stopping the habit.
And lastly the homework would provide, for the student who struggles, the practice he or she so needs while providing enough opportunities to bring themselves up from not knowing. Teachers can spot the students who are not doing so well and provide closer attention for them to improve on areas that they don’t seem to understand.
Let’s say I assign a Homework Assignment to a classroom, it covers certain aspects of algebra, trig, and calculus. When I look over the results, let’s say James didn’t do well in most of trig, and didn’t do very well in Calculus. I can see in his answers what he did wrong, what he’s lost on and pinpoint the weakness, work on it with him, and provide him the security he needs mentally to not think he’s failing the course.
I hope this makes sense, and that it helps homework take on a better light. I’ve been wanting to put this into words but it’s a little difficult to make some people understand. Thank you for reading.
“Online education strips away all of those expenses except for the cost of the professor's time and experience. It sounds perfect, an alignment of technology, social need and limited resources. So why do so many people believe that it is a deeply flawed solution? Because it means massive swaths of higher education is about to change. Technology has disrupted many industries; now it's about to do the same to higher ed.”—College Is Going Online, Whether We Like It Or Not - Zachary Karabell - The Atlantic
In response to my lobbyist commentary...
dizzyksc said: After spending the past five years studying political science, my peers and I have concluded that this country severely lacks in civic education. There has been no incentive for schools to teach civics or for government to push for civic education.
What do you all think? Is civic education getting the short end of the stick? What can we do about it?
Spotlight in #education: vwalker
Are you currently following vwalker? If not, you should be.
One of the things that I really admire about her is how resilient she is. Instead of getting bogged down by the things that aren’t going well, she actively seeks out the positive.
She and her husband are in the process of buying a house, she’s an avid fan of Dr. Who, she’s always got good ideas and comments to share about #education and I always look forward to reading her work. Follow her now if you aren’t already, you won’t regret it!
Anybody who wishes to criticize teachers needs to experience a certain part of the school year.
It is the part of the school year where you have standardized testing, so teachers are on high alert the entire time they are in the building. Non-teachers, did you know we have to DOUBLE LOCK testing materials? If we don’t, we could potentially lose our jobs. It is the part of the year where kids kind of start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and stop caring quite so much if all their work gets turned in. If your school grades for mastery, you can kiss most work completion goodbye, since classwork doesn’t earn a report-card grade. Unless you want to do a presentation for a huge grade at a time when attendance plummets. Meaning your failure rates go up ad your principal is in your doorway, wanting an explanation.
It is also a part of the year when students are just plain tired of each other. Something as simple as bumping a binder off a table can escalate into a fist fight, so don’t turn around to put attendance in the computer. Oh wait, get attendance done because we’re running truancy numbers this week! Work on that 20/20 backwards vision. But seriously, the kids are so ready for time away from each other. The smallest thing will set someone off into tears, into shouts, into slamming doors.
But if you are a teacher, you stay with it because in a few weeks, it will be summer break and you’ll get an email from a student saying, “Have you read this book? I just go it from the library and it made me think of you. Remember that time you…?” You’ll stay with it because of that one kid who is so painfully close to passing that he stayed in your room all day doing make up work and then asked to stay after an hour to get a little more work done before he goes home and can’t focus. You’ll stay with it because you care.