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  1. #1 Sages on Stages Desperately Needed 
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    Another reason I support homeschooling:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/...ly_needed.html

    It was the first premise of all schools throughout history: students would be educated by people who were themselves already educated. A biology teacher had to be an expert in biology; a history teacher must know history to teach history. Who would question the wisdom of these statements?

    This country's Education Establishment now preaches a contrary view. Students must not be told that 2+3=5; this is not "authentic learning." Essentially, teachers should stop teaching. The theory, generally called Constructivism or Discovery, requires that students (typically working in groups) construct knowledge for themselves...

    ....In practice, teachers don't lead the class. Rather, they become part of the class and wander among the students, nodding encouragement. As this philosophy has hardened, teachers have been rebranded as "facilitators." Increasingly, they are told to move to the back of the class and stay out of the way.

    There are obvious problems. First, the person in the room who knows the most is forced to remain silent. Second, Constructivism, if it happens at all, will obviously be a slow process.

    There are many simple facts (Paris is the capital of France) that can be taught directly in seconds. There are many complex phenomena (the origins of the French Revolution) that need to be explained at length. Facilitators can neither teach directly nor explain at length.

    The general idea is that students will go to the internet or other sources and figure out everything for themselves. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to conclude that the amount of knowledge transmitted per class will be drastically reduced...

    ...If you want to understand the folly of these methods, just consider a real school: flying school, medical school, driving school, investing school, tattoo school, mountain-climbing school, et al. Suppose that the teacher refused to teach and instead told you to explain how you will find the answers. Predictably, you would demand your money back and run...
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  2. #2  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    And yet..... (I agree with you re: the subject discussed) there is a basis to the theory that has been bastardized beyond belief.

    When I taught an Earth Science lab for teachers in a previous life, the method was totally different but the outcome was definitely improved.
    The "students" would enter the lab to see the question written on the chalk board. There was no list of materials, no written form of steps to follow, no direct guidance - i.e. I would discuss the question with individuals or groups but would not "tell them how to do it".
    They could work in a group or alone but each one had to individually write up what they did in a scientific manner and the proofs for the results.
    When it was over and done with, all of us learned and, in many cases, the ingenuity was very impressive.

    The most outstanding example: "Determine the specific gravity of ice"
    Everyone was running around with ice cubes, scales, beakers, etc while one young woman went alone to the corner, put her feet up on the window sill and watched the birds outside for about 5 minutes.
    She then proceeded to get a beaker, half fill it with alcohol and drop in an ice cube -which went directly to the bottom. She stirred the mix until the ice cube started to rise off the bottom. She then fished the cube out and tossed it in the sink. She now had a water/alcohol mix that exhibited the same specific gravity of ice. She could measure the volume and the mass to as many decimal places as the equipment would measure and accurately determined the results to three decimal places.
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
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    Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    It is an idea that works well with the right group of students and the right subject. Like most things that are great ideas in special cases, some idiots decided should be applied to everyone and everything, where it would not just fail but actually do more harm than good.

    It's pretty much exactly what the military services do with some faddish, shiny new management philosophy or buzz concept every three to five years, really. This has resulted in a proverb whose origin is lost in the dim mists of time, possibly going back to the Legions: "There are three ways to do things - the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way."
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  4. #4  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    In my corporate world it was "the latest from the Harvard Business school" even if it was 180 degrees out from the last "latest from the Harvard Business School.
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
    It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
    Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
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