Friday, January 11, 2008

Edubabble fluency

When even ed schools like Appalachian State’s ed school are fluent in edubabble, then you know "progressive" education has arrived.

From Teaching Teachers How Not to Teach -- Do our schools of education really do good a job of training teachers?

One sign of that contagion is the mission statements and “conceptual frameworks” of the education schools in the state. Read them and you’ll see that progressive theory controls. At Appalachian State’s Reich School of Education, for instance, the conceptual framework says:

"We believe that theory should guide practice in all aspects of our work. While we use a variety of theoretical perspectives in the preparation of educators, socio-cultural and constructivist perspectives … are central to guiding our teaching and learning. Our core conceptualization of learning and knowing – that learning is a function of the social and cultural contexts in which it occurs (i.e., it is situated) and that knowledge is actively constructed – emerges from the intersection of these two perspectives."

6 comments:

NYC Math Teacher said...

I think I posted this link here many moons ago, so here goes again:

http://appserv.pace.edu/execute/page.cfm?doc_id=8338

Drill down into the details and you'll find some great nuggets. The social justice parts would be a real scream if they weren't so chilling.

concernedCTparent said...

I much prefer the perspective of George K. Cunningham's Education Schools: Helping or Hindering Potential Teachers?

From the Executive Summary:

The dominant
“progressive/constructivist” philosophy in education schools leads to teacher training that prescribes a student-centered classroom where the teacher’s role is to serve mainly as a facilitator for student-directed learning. Under that philosophy it is regarded as bad practice for teachers to actually do much teaching. They are supposed to act as “the guide on the side” rather than “the sage on the stage.”

Unfortunately, the progressive/constructivist approach is markedly inferior to traditional, “teacher-centered” pedagogy, particularly when it comes to teaching students important skills like reading and math. Most students do better if they are taught with traditional methods, such as “direct instruction.” This investigation of education schools in North Carolina reveals that they are dominated by people who are deeply committed to progressive/constructivist theories. Consequently, students taught by teachers who have absorbed that approach are unlikely to progress as fast or as far as they would if their teachers were more appropriately trained.

concernedCTparent said...

Education Schools: Helping or Hindering?

Instructivist said...

concerned,

I agree with you about Cunningham. I am still reading his study and will post later.

You may also want to read his presentation a while back:

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.17804,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

concernedCTparent said...

Thanks for the link to that speech by Cunningham. Despite being from 2003, it is sadly still very relevant.

NYC Educator said...

I won't defend the nonsense that takes place in education schools, having been subjected to quite a bit of it myself. I do think there is a possibility for better schools, but you have to actually involve people who are familiar with and who have actually taught in them.

I had a number of ivory-tower professors making outlandish suggestions, professors who had no clue what went on in urban schools. But the professors in my subject area were almost uniformly excellent.

Still, subject area is not 100% of what you need if you're gonna face 34 teenagers at 9 AM tomorrow. I really wish those ed. professors hadn't wasted so much of my time and money, but at least it's over now.

By the way, I can't find a link, but the New York Sun reports that Sol Stern is reclassifying himself as an "instructionist." Perhaps you're more influential than you know.