Discussion in 'Editorials' started by Robert Heiny, Jul 23, 2013.
Education Argot Misdirects Teachers
Continue reading the Original Blog Post
Public schools are free to the student and some people mistreat free items. Free, in this case, is free in the sense of freedom. Kids are free to learn, free to not learn, free to explore, and free to deplore.
What you are describing is the intentional design of public schools; schools are filters. Filtering is a purpose of public schools rarely discussed. For example, not knowing the language is a means of filtering.
No one wants a medical doctor who is only interested in doing 80% of a job. Imagine the heart surgeon opening the chest, pulling out the heart, putting a new one in ... but that's it. The surgeon skipped the remaining part of the surgery steps because they were absent that day and decided that learning on your own is not necessary. In such a case, do we place the blame on the teacher or the doctor?
Personal responsibility is why filtering is a vital purpose of pubic schools. People must learn to choose and live with their choice.
Actually, arguing against person responsibility is why teachers and teachers' unions are in a mess. Teachers are easily hated and blamed for all of the ills of society because they fail to use a basic argument regarding personal responsibility. After all, a child failing a test can't be because the kid didn't listen to a lecture, didn't read, didn't do the assignments, as well as parents ignoring their own kids, the selfishness of other adults, or the reckless belief that everyone will learn when told. Right? After all, some students simply choose not to pay attention to instruction, not read, not pay attention to their own learning, and some do not even show up to school but it's a better sound byte to just say the teacher didn't do a good job.
In a free society, filter the kids not wishing to work . Let them drop out. Let them learn from the school of hard knocks instead of keeping all kids in public school. Stop spending money on failures. Stop giving alternatives.
Most importantly, filtering benefits society. Society benefits that there are people who fall behind in school, drop out, and fail to learn how to give change at a cash register. Failing can be a great motivator - to find another way and succeed.
Above all, let the teachers use educationese because it is irrelevant. Let teachers fiddle - while the rest of society blames instead of stepping forward and making sure schools succeed in filtering as well as choosing who will be the doctor, who will be the nurse, who will be the Einstein. Just as we let helicopter parents demand that all kids are winners then we should let them accept the consequences once the kids are in school - and say that all kids are winners. They are not all winners.
Schools, LPH, are not free. Nothing is free, said WiseOne eons ago.
Everyone pays something to participate in schools. Students pay with time, clothing, and other personal resources like effort to get there; some also pay for pencils, backpacks, notebooks and other school supplies, sometimes from money that would otherwise feed family members. Teachers pay the same toll for themselves, but they get money and promises of more benefits far beyond what students get.
Yes, social critics have opined and theorized for almost a century that public schools in the U.S. sort students into groups with varying probabilities of life styles. That's how public schools work, that's their use in society. Those from a family legacy of education go into one probability group, the most ambitious go into another, etc. JT Rowling captured this image with the Sorting Hat ceremoniously assigning students to various Houses in "Harry Potter".
The purpose, though, of public schooling has been and still is to increase learning, so all students are prepared to participate in the intellectual, political, as well as introduced into the economy of society, in that order.
Educators, by using their argot, direct their own attention and the attention of others away from the mandate that they increase learning. They do not do what has been shown can be done to increase learning, nor do they use vocabulary that teachers use who accelerate, increase, and deepen learning promptly and sometimes dramatically.
Without increases in learning, social function claims victory over purpose. That's arguably not good. It's the triumph of anti-intellectualism and tyranny of the majority, a victory given away by educators whether by ignorance, belief, politics, or for other reasons.
Educators have signed contracts, given their person pledge on their honor to increase learning and to resist social forces against those increases even when it requires more accurate and precise vocabulary and practices based on a technical-scientific literacy. The fight against ignorance and deceit remains honorable.
As stated - free - as in freedom. You may attempt to reword my definition of free but it misses the point: Society gives students the freedom to pass or fail. The personal choice to pass or fail has never been controlled by anyone but the individual. The language of the teachers is irrelevant to these personal choices - best famously stated by Gertrude Stein in her often quoted poem: a rose is a rose. This law of identity is never masked by any institution, contract, or law; that is, things are the way they are because it's what we want. We want people to fail so we can celebrate the successes of others.
Let's get pedantic. Yes, things are what they are, including that there is no natural "law of identity." It's a myth and so is that "society" gives students the freedom to pass or fail a class. No one knows where such choices come from. They just exist. Politicians and romantics refer to them as freedom. Society is a technical term referring to clusters of social institutions such as education, which is the only institution that gives priority to learning, whether called socialization, academic performance, or development of personal discipline. Teachers, in the name of society, pledge their honor to challenge and manage choices of students so they become learners who fit into society. The language of teachers is a way to track how teachers exercise their honor. From this view, people who want students to fail are not teachers nor honorable if they signed a contract to teach.