Sunday, April 13, 2008

Show us the real work
   Education gurus engage in hollow rhetoric

Science teacher Annie Chien reacts with skepticism to all the talk she hears at education conferences and workshops. Such gatherings have “become stagnant to me,” she says. Though she hears speakers gush about student voice and student involvment, she “can’t seem to find the evidence” that anything important is happening.

I don’t hear or see students talking about math, science, English and Social Studies. I don’t see students working out problems in math, and I don’t see students engaging in debates about our government. Where are the abundant great student work in science and English that these student-centered institutions are supposedly creating? I don’t see a slew of student inventions and original work where they demonstrate mastery and creativity. Where is the hard core evidence that supports student centered organizations?

What she wants from those who would advise us on how to teach is “raw evidence of student learning.” Instead of pious phrases we need evidence of student accomplishment.  “No more shiny bells--I want student work and performance as my guiding light to perfect my teaching practice.”

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 04/13 at 01:55 PM
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© 2008 Michael L. Umphrey
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