Thursday, July 16, 2009

Article from Forbes.com

I guess this should come as no big surprise. I would love to hear about some solutions, though.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/hscout/2009/07/15/hscout628808.html

14 comments:

Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sahila said...

Just a reminder that a community meeting will be held on:
Sunday 19th July 2009,
from noon-2.30pm,
at 10715 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133...

to discuss Broad Foundation and other corporate influence in the Seattle Public School District...

SPS Board Director Harium Martin Morris will attend...
All welcome, including children...

For an insight into community concerns re Broad, see:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=28765366&postID=8474647497939761140

Also we will begin the SPS Mass Complaint Direct Action campaign.

RSVPs appreciated to 206 297 7511

If numbers necessitate, larger meeting space has been booked at the Library on Yesler Terrace... Notification of a change in venue will be sent out ASAP.


Namaste
Sahila ChangeBringer
AS#1 parent and BLT member

Sahila said...

The researchers also found that both American and Chinese students became less concerned with mastering schoolwork as they moved through middle school.

"This decline in both countries may reflect a poor fit between children's developing psychological needs and school settings," Wang said.


As I wrote on another thread, instead of fixing a flawed system, we say our kids are flawed...

How about taking an alternative education approach to this issue - find out what kids are really interested in, allow them to explore those topics, activities to the Nth degree and build in 'core' academics (that are present in everything anyway) into a format that nurtures their passions....

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Maria Montessori believed that middle schoolers were incapable of focusing on schoolwork because of developmental changes in their brains and bodies. She literally recommended they spend those years on a farm.

Obviously, we can't do that, but we can draw from all of the brain research that's been done in the last few decades and create a middle school program that might be more likely to keep our students engaged.

Josh Hayes said...

Solvaygirl, I have a lot of sympathy with that perspective: I could see myself teaching elementary-age kids (heh -- I typed that as "ids"), or high-school, but Middle School? No way. They're bundles of hormones run amok.

My son, some months ago, entering this adolescence shtick, burst into tears one night at dinner, and when I asked why, he said, "I don't know! My body's sad, but I'm not!"

I feel for any teacher who has to deal with this kind of irrationality. Little kids and grownups are bad enough!

I do think, however, that middle school is, sloppy as it is, a waypoint to further schooling. If kids are left behind there, it's really hard to gather them back up again.

Sahila said...

http://www.solonline.org/FifthDiscipline/introduction/

I cant copy and paste any of the writing from this introduction to Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline, but this thinking is the difference between Broad and the SPS District's meddling in education and the core of what real education is about....

There is such an eloquent and plainly true description of what education is today and how we are raising our children...

Please go and read it....

and then come back and tell me that what's going on in SPS (and the education system generally) is OK....

dan dempsey said...

Sahila,

No the Education system is not OK but in general is the system we call the industrialized society much better?

When I read this:
"This decline in both countries may reflect a poor fit between children's developing psychological needs and school settings," Wang said.

I thought it could also be the child's place in society.

Sahila said...

dan - I agree - and once again, we blame the children, say they are flawed, when in fact its the system that is flawed...

Senge makes an interesting point that systems themselves create and then perpetuate problems.... that people dont seem to get that the system is merely a collection of people buying into a particular belief system.... that it then becomes some 'concrete' thing with a life of its own... and people dont realise they can change the system and the problems IF they change their thinking about the system and the problems...

It so simple and obvious is laughable to the point of hysteria... except for the part where one realises the incalculable damage done to individuals and the costs to society as a whole...

Melissa Westbrook said...

To me what is also serious is how many boys are falling behind. I was talking to a teacher friend in California and he teaches AP Biology. He said far fewer boys take the class and of those who do, most tend to let the girls take the lead. He attributes this to more time on the computer playing games. Based on my own experience, I'd agree.

Sahila said...

Melissa -
I wonder if its because there is a perception that biology is seen as a 'soft' (organic = feminine ) science, whereas physics, chemistry and higher math are 'hard' (manipulative = masculine) sciences...

I think its a question of stereotyping and gender-identifying more than computer and video games overuse myself

uxolo said...

My experience is that our high school girls take their grades and homework more seriously than the boys. Many of our successful boys have a mom managing their every move.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Biology a "soft" science? Huh? Sociology, psychology, those are soft sciences. The fact is more girls are taking AP overall than boys. More girls are going to college. That's not gender sterotyping, that's reality.

seattleguy said...
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Sahila said...

OOPS, AM ON SOMEONE ELSE'S COMPUTER AND FORGOT TO SIGN IN...
I thought we were talking about high school subjects, not college.... sociology and psychology arent available as subjects in high school, are they?

I just think that of the science subjects available in high school that might appeal to a testosterone-filled male brain, biology might be seen as 'soft'...