Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Education and Boredom

An education grad student has these comments on my essay on education:
I had a professor a couple of semesters ago say two things in the same breath: first, that teaching little kids to read is probably the most important thing an elementary school teacher can do, and second, that teaching little kids to read is really boring. Yeah. Boring.

It's not the first time I have heard that. I've been doing research in schools located in the some of the most disadvantaged places in the US, and one of the teachers I interview regularly was telling me about a new, scripted program to teach reading. She said, 'It's boring. It's a little boring to teach.'

Then she paused. 'But the kids seem to really be making progress. So I'm starting to think, I liked the old, creative curriculum, but it might not have been as good for the kids as this one.'
There's more.



Blogger Dean Esmay said...

That was as good an explanation as any I've ever read.

It may be that the largest mistake we ever made in education, especially k-8, was in deciding that you needed a college degree to do it. Time was when a schoolmarm needed a High School diploma and certain common sense training and nothing else.

Now we not only require teachers, even at those levels, to have college degrees, but we usually (in most public schools) give them raises based in large part on the level of degree they've achieved and how many extra certificates they've earned.

12:21 AM  

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