Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do we really need teachers anymore?

If so, how should we use them? In what ratio to students?
How well trained must they be? How well educated?
How closely must they be supervised, are they being micro-

It seems to me, that at the very least, we should stop expecting them meet the individual needs of students by first forming them into groups. Stop expecting them to take groups of students with nothing in common but their age and forming them into "thought choirs"; expected to move lockstep in the same direction, at the same speed, year after year after year.

Herding kittens is a waste of energy and resources. Yet that
is the model we use because we can't come up with another
way to babysit thirty kids at a time and hire only one adult.

It is based on the premise that herding them is the only way
to keep them out of trouble. It isn't.

Teachers must be enabled to give individual students their
full attention; an impossibility in the current model.
Divided and individual attention are mutually exclusive.

If the ultimate goal is to produce lifelong independent learners,
why is that not the immediate goal as well? The more independent learners there are in a classroom, the more time teachers will have to give students their full attention.

Why do we insist that children learn and practice independent learning skills in groups?

Why must individual learners move lockstep in the same direction and at exactly the same speed, year after year after year?

Except to create and maintain a need for a standardized testing industry?

And to create benchmarks that are as convenient as they are meaningless.

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