Back in the 1970s, science teacher turned sociologist Michael D Young suggested a theme of social segregation runs throughout school science, as it continually sorts students into three groups: pure scientists, applied scientists and failures. Science and engineering education is often sold as a great route for social mobility – just look at the recent Education for Engineering report on opportunity and all its arrows upwards – but what about those such a model based on a metaphorical social ladder inevitably leaves behind?
I think this also explains the anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, rejection of science that often doesn’t really have any strong basis, other than, eww science.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The View from Where I Standardize: Ruminations from the Test-Prep Industry: Playing the Game.
In order to engage the competitive impulses in an individual, the steps are simple:
1. Introduce a framework in which different parties are judged against each other as more or less valuable.
2. Make the title of “most valuable” appear attainable.
3. Give it, for the time being, to someone else.
It sounds obvious, but set up this structure and watch eyes light up, nostrils flare, sweat drop, and money pour out of pockets. True competitive spirit, as I’ve seen it, has far less to do with survival or well-being than it does with trophies and rankings, the notion of proving one’s worth in a public way, and the only way to activate that drive to prove in people is to imply that someone else might be on top.
The survey reveals, as it puts it in the most polite possible terms, “a gap between the skills hiring managers reported seeing in recent graduates and the skills the students perceive themselves as having mastered.” For starters, 50% of college students say they’re very prepared for the workplace, whereas only 39% of hiring managers—who’ve actually seen college students in action, in the workplace—agree.
Also: more than two thirds of students think their GPA is important, but less than half of hiring managers say that it is. In a heartening finding, hiring managers say that personal connections are far less important to getting hired than students think they are. And the final blow to the Ivy League Achievement Mafia: “Students put more importance on the name of the institution listed on their diploma, versus an employer’s view of the importance of school prestige. A full 45% of students, from schools across the nation, believe a degree from a prestigious school is very or extremely important to make them more attractive to employers. By contrast, only 28% of hiring managers found this important.”
- Different kids with different levels of preparation come into a math class. Some of these kids have parents who have drilled them on math from a young age, while others never had that kind of parental input.
- On the first few tests, the well-prepared kids get perfect scores, while the unprepared kids get only what they could figure out by winging it—maybe 80 or 85%, a solid B.
- The unprepared kids, not realizing that the top scorers were well-prepared, assume that genetic ability was what determined the performance differences. Deciding that they “just aren’t math people,” they don’t try hard in future classes, and fall further behind.
- The well-prepared kids, not realizing that the B students were simply unprepared, assume that they are “math people,” and work hard in the future, cementing their advantage.
Textbook publishers have largely ignored the suggestions made by reviewers appointed by the Texas State School Board. Various members of the board have been attempting to undercut the teaching of evolution when formulating new science standards. After a tough fightthat resulted in some confusing requirements, textbook makers were given the chance to implement the new standards. Naturally, when it came time to review the texts, the school board appointed ahandful of creationiststo the review group.
Just as naturally, those individuals requested that “‘creation science’ based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is considered for adoption” and complained about how evolution was presented. The textbooks were supposed to be revised to reflect these complaints. Now, the publishers have submitted the texts they were supposed to have revised in light of these complaints. And, the good news is that the texts seem fine.
Thank god (irony, pun intended)
Teacher: No! I told you the first day of class to keep it someplace safe.
Student: Right. I’m just letting you know I’ve made some spares. There’s one framed in my bedroom, obviously, plus I’ve been passed out annotated versions to my classmates. And I submitted it online for a “World’s Best Syllabus” contest, because you picked the best Far Side cartoons.
Teacher: I really did, didn’t I?
How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses | Wired Business | Wired.com
Juárez Correa had mixed feelings about the test. His students had succeeded because he had employed a new teaching method, one better suited to the way children learn. It was a model that emphasized group work, competition, creativity, and a student-led environment. So it was ironic that the kids had distinguished themselves because of a conventional multiple-choice test. “These exams are like limits for the teachers,” he says. “They test what you know, not what you can do, and I am more interested in what my students can do.”
I like this style. I am using it in one of my classes. Should be interesting.
A sense of truth — the difference between potential and accomplishment, dream and fact — can be the first casualty in families like this. Growing up I felt like a private eye tracking down unseemly rumors about me, adapting a private eye’s worldview along the way: dark, noirish and suspicious of anyone who claimed to “know” what “happened” about “anything.” I was desperate for praise but paranoid about its ability to manipulate. If you paid me a compliment I’d love you for a second, then squint suspiciously, spit out an imaginary cigar and ask “What do you want, anyway?”
Constant praise makes children both fragile and risk averse. Since they aren’t praised for their effort, the one thing they control, children take failure as a sign that they were never intelligent to begin with.
….Christopher Ferguson questions the evidence supporting Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Along the way, he also explores how that theory has infiltrated our wider consciousness and combined with America’s egalitarian strain. After all, no one I know can name the intelligences Gardner enumerated, or the limitations in IQ testing that he criticized. The idea that there are lots of ways to be intelligent, though, is accepted without comment, because it has such wonderful implications: (1) the gifted can’t be gifted in all ways, so the great really aren’t that great; and (2) if you’re deficient in one way you’re probably above average, or even gifted, in another. If you haven’t discovered that secret talent, your only problem is that you haven’t looked hard enough. If you can’t celebrate an actual accomplishment, celebrate your potential — that is, something you might do in the future. And if you do something in the future and aren’t recognized for it, that still doesn’t matter because history is filled with special people who weren’t considered special in their time.
OMG EVERY SINGLE STUDENT NOWADAYS