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My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
12-01-2013, 11:54 AM
Post: #26
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Rob, we all understand that you are a liberal's liberal, but that does not mean that everything in this world revolves around politics (or as you see it, liberal vs. conservative). Have you ever stood in front of thirty eighth or ninth graders, or even fourth or fifth graders, or better yet - senior high students and discussed history with them? Your dogma wouldn't last five minutes.

When I began teaching over forty years ago, the nationwide fear was that one day we would be teaching to "the test," and the evil that was always pointed to was the New York example. I believe it was termed the State Regency Exam? Even the New York teachers were complaining that it turned education into a memorization process - not a learning experience. At that time, in Maryland's junior high history curriculum, we were actually teaching to the CORE process. However, it stood for Collect, Organize, Relate, and Evaluate. It also stressed the need for students to learn backgrounds to events: what came before; causes and effects; lessons for the future, etc.

Since I left the teaching field, I have watched my own daughter progress through the Maryland system and now my grandson. The Maryland system is now based on teaching to the test. My daughter has her Master's in education and is qualified to teach newborn through high school and is now mentoring high school teachers who are having problems adapting to these new systems that get thrown at them every 3-4 years (liberals have a habit of doing that). My grandson is in the eighth grade and a straight-A student, but he comes to me to discuss history because there is no time for in-depth classroom discussion - the class time is built around teaching to the test. I might also add that my daughter dislikes history to this day because it was boring memorization to her in school.

And, we won't even discuss the students whose classes visit Surratt House, who have no background on Lincoln, the Civil War, or the many issues surrounding the first hundred years of U.S. history. When you have twenty students sitting in front of you who do not know who Abraham Lincoln is - and who have to have the answer coaxed out of them by referring to "the dude on a $5 bill" - there is trouble in Camelot! And there is even more trouble when the teachers of those students leave the museum and thank you and the guides for teaching them "so many things they had never heard of."

Good educators are the best judges of what works. However, much of today's curriculum choices have been thrown into think tanks - people who often have no practical experience. Reading and espousing educational theory and trying to make it the "law of the land" doesn't mean that those responsible for preaching these theories can cut it in the actual classroom. You need to walk the walk before you talk the talk. Sitting behind a computer and searching for scholarly words to throw out to make one appear all-knowing doesn't cut it.
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RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address" - L Verge - 12-01-2013 11:54 AM

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