We Who Are About to Fly, Salute You

by Robert Pondiscio
September 18th, 2010

“That you’ve driven over bridges and flown in planes and lived to tell about it is a testament to teachers like me who’ve identified what’s important, boring or not, and taught it to those who will ultimately use that knowledge, even for the benefit of people like Kohn and his disciples,” writes “physicsteacher,” an unnamed educator commenting at the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog.   This in response to the latest garden variety Alfie Kohn strawmanfest fulminating against teachers who make students “cram facts, practice a series of decontextualized skills on yet another worksheet, [or] listen passively to a lecture.”

3 Comments »

  1. [...] We Who Are About to Fly, Salute You « The Core Knowledge Blog Filed under: education — coopmike48 @ 7:42 am We Who Are About to Fly, Salute You « The Core Knowledge Blog. [...]

    Pingback by We Who Are About to Fly, Salute You « The Core Knowledge Blog « Parents 4 democratic Schools — September 19, 2010 @ 10:43 am

  2. Alfie Kohn’s article purports to be in reply to a piece by Robert J. Samuelson in the Washington Post, titled ‘School Reform’s meager results’

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/05/AR2010090502817.html

    I don’t always agree with Samuelson’s Newsweek pieces… But he’s spot on in his article about education. Note that he simply lists the problems, and does not propose a solution… Samuelson writes:

    “Against [...] realities, school “reform” rhetoric is blissfully evasive. It is often an exercise in extravagant expectations. Even if George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind program had been phenomenally successful (it wasn’t), many thousands of children would have been left behind. Now Duncan routinely urges “a great teacher” in every classroom. That would be about 3.7 million “great” teachers — a feat akin to having every college football team composed of all-Americans. With this sort of intellectual rigor, what school “reform” promises is more disillusion. “

    Comment by andrei radulescu-banu — September 20, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

  3. Educators are told, essentially, what needs to be instructed to students. Between curriculum mapping, meeting standards, and testing requirements educators are not provided with much of a variety as to what they can teach. Therefore, whether the topic is fun or boring is up to the educator to make it an interesting topic. The topic has to be intreresting enough for students to want to learn and retain the information. Educators can sometimes be ranked or judged as to how well they influence their students to want to be in school learning.

    Comment by Juliann — September 26, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

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