InTheNet's Teaching Methods

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by Iceblink, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok, educational guru, it's time to start making a difference.

    You seem to have an idea of what teachers should be doing. You know you want those ACT scores up. You want the best for your supposed children.

    So what do you want?

    What do you think are some of the best methods that teachers can use to educate our children?! Maybe you could create some units.

    I can't speak for the other teachers, but I'm all eyes.

    Please make sure you align your ideas with your state standards. I'll accept Virginia, Maryland, DC... wherever you are. I have access to them. I'd say go for English... a novel you believe all students should read? Writing, perhaps?
     
  2. pething101

    pething101 Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Smyrna, Ga
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Put up or shut up time.
     
  3. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    mokum
    Club:
    AFC Ajax

    or as it is known in ITN's world: time to disappear
     
  4. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Teaching Methods

    I am not an "educational guru" and have never claimed such, but a parent concerned about education. You should be too and as a teacher I am sure you are concerned! I frequently comment here, as I do in PTA meetings and in meetings with teachers, administrators, school board members, and with students themselves. Being a parent is a vocation. Being a teacher is a vocation. Both have responsibilities.

    Actually Iceblink, most of my posts herein address what they are not doing; i.e., educating children and providing them with a balanced education. When a child graduates from high school and is functionally illiterate, someone failed in their duty. That could be the student, the parent, the teacher, or the principal. What teachers "should be doing" is certifying that they are doing all they can to be sure that they contributed toward mastery of core compency subjects by all students. Based on testing percentages in all 50 states, we are doing a horrible job here in this country and we -- parents, teachers, principals -- are all failing our students. During the Reagan Administration, Secretary of Education Dr. William Bennett developed and advanced a little booklet on education and teaching. The booklet was called, "What Works" and it was soundly critized by teacher unions and the NEA, although it received massive parental support. I suggest that if you want to know what teachers "should be doing" you read "What Works." I support it wholeheartedly. You can find a copy online or go here for more information on its background:
    http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/30486b.htm

    As a parent I want all scores up and all testing regimen: SAT, ACT, NCLB, and all others, to reflect that all students receive a balanced education. Many do; many do not. I want high school graduates to be able to speak clearly, think logically, and express themselves articulately. Most cannot. That is why parents and teachers need to examine their responsibilities and fix the problem, whether it exists in the classroom or the home. I don't expect that every student will become a Dr. Oppenheimer nor do I expect that every student will become a Homer Simpson, but we should have more of the former and less of the latter.

    Teach the fundamentals before the extracurricular; emphasize the basic knowledge and assure its understanding before venturing into the specialized. I suggest the Montessori "method" for starters. Go here for background although I am sure you may have heard of it:
    http://www.michaelolaf.net/1CW312MI.html
    Dr. Maria Montessori developed a "follow the child" philosophy to fulfill students' highest potential. Although all schools cannot meet Montessori program standards, teachers can emulate the Montessori method as a model in their lesson plans. There are many other "methods" of education as well than can be tailored to student development.

    You mock those that question teachers. You have in the past and you are in this post. You mocked me when I questioned teachers that strike in another post. I simply maintain that teachers should be responsible for their product: educated students. When a child is progressed from grade-to-grade, teachers should take some responsibility in what they provide: a grade level education. When a child reachers high school and is functionally illiterate in core competency subjects, someone failed and oftentimes (but not always) it is a teacher. Our local school does a good job at education (as determined by state and federal test scores) but occasionally makes mistakes and lets students progress that should not. That failure is what drives my concern. Schools should be measured by the education they provide all students, not just a few. As a parent I am cognizant of other parents that have failed their children.I take them to task for it. I know that parents have a long way to go before they are successful in the eyes of their children. So too with teachers. They have a long way to go before they can consider themselves successful.

    Reading lists vary by student grade level and by category; i.e., fiction or nonfiction, or autobiographical. Further, reading lists are reflective of books that school administrators/librarians might find acceptable, yet these might not attract student interest due to a variety of factors. While I hesitate to advance one book over another due to unknown student needs, I would suggest that the 'classics' be stressed due to their traditional and historical significance. Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," and Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" are all excellent American prose, while the Europeans certainly offer a bountiful crop: Tolstoy's "War and Peace," Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo," and any of Shakespeare's prose certainly should be emphasized in all grades. Historical nonfiction autobiographies should be stressed; I suggest historical accounts of this nation's presidents, from Washington to Bush, be advocated starting an an early age.

    Since reading fuels writing, and writing fuels further reading, I suggest school librarians become adjunct classroom advisers, helping hand-in-hand with teachers to stiimulate student interest in reading and writing. Frequent trips to the school library, and to local libraries, should be planned. Written encapsulation of all reading efforts should be required; book reports should be rejuvenated and stressed to generate written expression on behalf of students. Student journals should be required. Computer and MIS lessons should be advanced only in unison with written expression, not in place of it.

    ~

    You have mocked me when I expressed support for the U.S. Department of Education's "No Child Left Behind" testing program. You mocked me when I castigated teachers who strike during the school year and denied children an education. You have mocked me when I expressed support for a frustrated teacher. In each case, I, as a parent, expressed my concern for the students' welfare and the students' education. Therein is my advocacy.

    Where is yours?
     
  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Teaching Methods

    But I thought most teachers were just in it for the great pay and awesome benefits? Since when did teachers care about students and their education?

    Flip-flopper.
     
  6. dj43

    dj43 New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Nor Cal
    Before this thread goes berserk, and is closed, I would like to add a basic thought.

    We need to be teaching basics at age appropriate levels. 1st and 2nd graders should be learning vocabulary and writing sentences. By 3-5 they should be learning to link sentences together to write paragraphs. 6-8 links paragraphs into stories. Along the way they should learn verb conjugation and sentence diagraming.

    But no, we are teaching 2nd graders to write paragraphs before they even learn how to punctuate a basic sentence. The article cites in the other thread tells the story all too well. It puzzles me how some of the modern teaching techniques were ever adopted in the first place, but then I know the answer to that question; too many people who have never spent day 1 in a classroom are telling others how to teach. Rubbish!!!
     
  7. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Well, that pretty much sums up InTheNet's 'contributions' to this forum.
     
  8. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    No disrespect intended here -- I appreciate your contributions to this forum-- but I'm curious if you can clarify what seems to be a contradiction here: in the other thread you write...

    My question is, how can we be so sure that parents have any sort of idea of how to teach? Or am I taking the wrong approach to this question?
     
  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Re: Teaching Methods

    Why do I suspect you're lying about being a parent? Could it be that you've been caught lying about other things?

    But, ummm, there were some serious problems with that Bennet piece you linked to, and no one who was serious about Montessori would also write...

    .

    "Product?" You've just turned school into an assembly line, which is the source of the weakness of the Bennett fragment you linked to: He writes about how much better teachers did their job in the old one-room school house vs. today, with nary an indication that teachers in the old days had far, far fewer students to teach compared to schools (especially urban ones) today. Anyway, good try.
     
  10. dj43

    dj43 New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Nor Cal
    Good question here.

    There are three threads going on right now with similar themes, plus I have a couple of PM threads going so I don't remember exactly what I have said and in which location on this theme, so let me try to sum it all up:

    Parents that read themselves, and read to their pre-schoolers are home, are doing the best thing they can possibly do for their children. Good readers are almost always good students.

    Further, parents need to get involved in education beyond just sitting around waiting for their kids to come home from school. For the most part, this type of parent is well-enough educated that they can at the least make a decision as to how well the school board is doing its job. One would be surprised how a board reacts when there is an audience present as opposed to just a couple of folks with specific interests.

    Parents should also be volunteering to be class assistants, help with yard duty on recess and breaks, etc. All of this creates a more positive environment but even further, lets teachers and admin know that they care, and are watching to see how things go. People would be surprised at the difference in student, and teacher behaviour, when there are other eyes around.

    But mostly, teachers need to know that there are helpful parents out there. Unfortunately, when well over half of all the kids come from broken or "blended" homes, or just single parents, it gets very tough to do the job of educating kids who can't even hold a book right-side up when they start first grade.
     
  11. Paddy31

    Paddy31 Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    Pukekohe, NZ
    Re: Teaching Methods

    Really? Don't you think that the list you've suggested is a little heavy? What age group did you have in mind, because this is a first year undergraduate list.

    Also, I'm confused that you advocate the Montessori method of child-centred learning while at the same time supporting initiatives like "No Child Left Behind" which are the opposite.

    As a parent, you should be very involved in the teaching of your children,and I'm sure you do the very best you can for them. I wish all parents showed the same level of concern and interest.
     
  12. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    War and Peace and the Count of Monte Cristo are two of the great doorstops of world literature. Especially Tolstoy. Making high school children plow through those is tedious, unnecessary, and largely futile.

    Furthermore, while Poe's novels are't quite as bad as his poetry, they aren't his strongest suit, either. He, like Hemingway, is best read in short story form.
     
  13. dj43

    dj43 New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Nor Cal
    My wife uses Animal Farm and Call of the Wild for 7th & 8th graders Language Arts. She has the lesson plans well-tuned and the kids love them both. She also has used Flowers for Algernon and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They all seem to work well for style and to get the kids thinking.
     
  14. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    Re: Teaching Methods

    I read all of those titles in high school. I actually liked the Count AND Old Man and the Sea, but I was a bit of a freak (I read practically everything. Except my math homework :) ).

    It can be done, but not in one year. ITN is part of a crowd that advocates strict focus on the classics. I'm a bit different. I love the classics, and wouldn't remove them for anything, but I like to supplement them with young adult literature and short fiction. YAL will grab their attention and help them to better understand the concepts they will study with the "heavy" reading. Short fiction is great for struggling readers. Many struggling readers will look at a novel and refuse to bother trying. Give them a story that they can finish and understand, and they will get that sense of accomplishment. All of a sudden, reading isn't a terrifying thing that they can't do. Plus, our national literary heritage falls heavily within the short story form, so that's also a plus.
     
  15. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member

    May 28, 2001
    Re: Teaching Methods

    I am aware of the Sonnets and his other poems - Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece - and I am aware of his extensive canon of plays. Please direct me to where I can find Shakespeare's examples of prose. Are they essays? Maybe he gives us his version of how to teach properly? Anyway, Shakespeare's prose?

    Also, can you please give me an example of a historical fictional autobiography?

    The above support, castigations and expressions were, and continue to be, a hypocritical furtherance of a political ideology which ultimately sacrifices education on the altar of its political expediency.

    Party before country, party over people.
     
  16. pething101

    pething101 Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Smyrna, Ga
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Teaching Methods

    I will do some research on this one. Porky's II is on right and that is the one where those wacky kids from Angel Beach put on "An Evening with Shakespeare". I will report back later.
     
  17. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Re: Teaching Methods

    Most of Charles Mingus' autobiography is greatly exaggerated, if not outright lies. Ditto with Miles Davis.
     
  18. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Teaching Methods

    I assume that you are not a parent; if you were... if you had children... you would not have asked such a ridiculous question. Of course parents have knowledge on basic teaching. Do they have a PhD in Education? No. But they do know "how to teach" and the result: education. Parents extent the responsibilities of their charges -- their children -- to teachers, so they can teach. They expect that the teachers do their job: teach.

    If half of your skepticism of parents were reserved for teachers, you would have a more realistic assessment of the teaching profession. By way of so explaining, my neighbor just arrived home. She is a single mom, has two kids who attend middle school and then go to a friends house after school. This woman works in a business office and she shares my general assessment of the teaching profession. She works twice as hard as any teacher I know, but she always has time for her kids and helps them each evening. She said the other day that she wished she could home school her kids, as public school teachers have a negative rather than a positive effect on her kids. Again... before you point the finger at parents as the culprit you need to defend the teachers.
     
  19. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    Re: Teaching Methods

    I won't deny that parents are experts (or most parents anyway) at teaching their kids things. That's not the same thing as classroom teaching, however. Anybody with patience and a sense of humor can teach one thing to one child. It takes expertise to teach an entire curriculum to 120+ students (in 30+ clumps). That's an experience and a reality that I would argue the vast majority of parents know nothing about.


    You have no clue about anything "realistic" within the teaching profession. Think on this for a minute: Do you realize that you (and this "friend") are hindering the ability of the teacher with your bad attitude towards the teachers? For as much as your friend thinks the teachers have a negative effect on her children, her attitude likely causes a negative effect on the entire classroom. Kids can pick up on things like respect. If they see people like you and your friend openly disrespect and insult almost every teacher on the planet, how do you think the children are going to respond to that teacher? They'll play you like a harp. They know you'll naturally blame the teacher, so they know they can do whatever the hell they want in the classroom. The worst behavior problems I've encountered have been students whose parents despise all teachers. Think on that for a bit.
     
  20. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member

    May 28, 2001
    Re: Teaching Methods

    Therefore not an autoboigraphy.
     
  21. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Re: Teaching Methods

    What a coincidence. I assume that you are not a parent, too. But more to the point: could you address Samarkand's and other people's questions about Shakespeare's prose? And could you also attempt the Hegelian synthesis required of the seemingly antithetical notions of Montessorian methodology with the ideology that supports NCLB?
     
  22. billyireland

    billyireland Member+

    May 4, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Re: Teaching Methods

    This is veering slightly off-topic and may not be fully applicable, but would Chuck Barris' 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' be an example? It's an enigmatic topic/genre, although not entirely nonexistant, depending on which viewpoint you take.

    Anyway, does the US school-system use any comparative studies in it's English syllabus? Over here in Ireland, there is a compulsory one for the Leaving Cert, with several different titles. What it basically consists of is studying a play, a film & a novel and comparing them on various levels, such as the author's general vision & viewpoint, the form of literary genre under which the titles can be listed, and a general theme in each of the three titles (e.g. identity). The three titles my class are studying are quite unfortunate from my point of view. The film is Witness (God-awful, bland, overrated, incredibly stiff, entirely uncathartic and really more of a documentary with a storyline), the play is The Playboy of the Western World (horrible, and near unreadable - nothing more than Synge's snobby delusions of superiority over Irish peasents of a century ago, hasn't exactly improved with age and really is the height of hubrism). Finally, the one bright-point of the course is that the novel we are studying is Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart', which is absolutely fantastically written and representative of the people.

    On top of that we study a Shakespearian play in close detail (Hamlet, in our case), as well as a number of poets (I am studying Heaney, Yeats & Dickinson) closely, and many aspects of writing (creative, argumentative, short-story telling & journalistic).

    My guess is that it's a pretty good syllabus as us Irish tend to have quite a way with words ;).
     
  23. Metros Striker10

    Metros Striker10 New Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Planet Earth
    Re: Teaching Methods

    Here's the REAL problem with the current educational system (mostly high school).

    1. Parents. Parents aren't teachers, but they should be explaining to the kids how valuable an education is. To many kids, an education isn't worth anything. You know what they do because of this? They take the lowest level of academic classes (you have the normal classes, honor classes, and then the level below the normal) and as many study halls as possible. Most of them are friends with the hall monitors, so getting out of study hall and walking the halls and making loud noises really isn't much of a problem for them. Then in the classroom, they plain and simple, don't do any work. They use up the resources given to them, but throw them away. Is it their fault? Not completely, but I think that second or millionth time that they were told to do their work because they would benfit them should be enough guidance for them to know that school is, well, important.

    2. Teachers. Many teachers today don't view teaching as their number one job. Why? Because many of them are coaches and advisors. So instead of teaching, they are too busy watching game video or on field trips with their club. How is there supposed to be any learning when all the teacher does is hand out a study guide to fill out and go over the next day? I don't know about you guys, not much learning is done by doing that because everyone does it as quick as possible so there's no homework for that night. Studying? All you need to do is memorize 25 little facts.

    3. Students. As much as there are factors as to why they don't do well, people have the option to study if they want. Everyone in school knows that an education can lead to successful careers. No one needs to be told that anymore. But these kids who don't care, are walking in the halls creating all sorts of havoc, skipping classes to go eat breakfast, taking three study halls every year, etc. Yeah, some kids have to work, but there's several kids in honors classes who play sports all year. A little time managment will free up a lot of time. Plus, with the current education system, it's really not that hard to get all of the work done, especially since they have like, three study halls.

    On paper, the NCLB Act looks good. The people against it often claim that not everyone can can do well in school and that they just weren't made to become a professional. Now, I don't know about you, isn't that just a phony excuse for these teachers to not do their job of trying to get these kids to learn? Because if you think about it, with this way of thinking, why are these kids who are constantly failing, still in school? Why are they using the tax money people pay when it could be used to help the students who do care? That is an extreme way of putting it, but that is what they put on the table.
     
  24. Paddy31

    Paddy31 Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    Pukekohe, NZ
    Re: Teaching Methods

    Shakespeare's plays are written in a mixture of verse and prose.

    Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. The word prose comes from the Latin prosa, meaning straightforward. This describes the type of writing that prose embodies, unadorned with obvious stylistic devices. Wiki
     
  25. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member

    May 28, 2001
    So, therefore, when told to study 'Shakepeare's prose', you should edit or ignore everything that's not prose in the plays? Rather a pedantic and convoluted way to read, no?

    BTW, still waiting for examples of Shakepeare's prose...........
     

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