Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Well, duh!

One of the reasons I love Montessori is that, while giving a lot to the kids, it also expects so much from them. That is, it never teaches down to them. The Montessori methodology is masterful at breaking down complex concepts into easily accessible pieces of information, but it assumes that the students are fully capable of mastering the whole package. And one of the things I hate when I look around at the (excellent) public schools in my community is that they simultaneously pack abstract information into the children and dumb down that information. For example, spelling drills have the children draw rainbows around words and, when learning how to spell such simple words as "cat," thinking about cats, and whether they like them and if they go meow. I loathe this cutsey approach to education. It turns out that the students might not be so thrilled about it either:

A large majority of high school students say their class work is not very difficult, and almost two-thirds say they would work harder if courses were more demanding or interesting, according to an online nationwide survey of teenagers conducted by the National Governors Association. The survey, being released on Saturday by the association, also found that fewer than two-thirds believe that their school had done a good job challenging them academically or preparing them for college. About the same number of students said their senior year would be more meaningful if they could take courses related to the jobs they wanted or if some of their courses could be counted toward college credit.
Thank you NEA and related associations for your core deep beliefs that students should be indoctrinated, not taught, and that any teaching should be done in the most demeaning and unintelligible way possible.