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Remaining Relevant


Dr. Jan laments that educators are blamed for the problems in today's schools. She says the cause is faulty measurement of student progress, and calls for a radical redefining of educational goals:

From the very first year of my educational practice, we (educators) have all been a bunch of losers who just weren't doing it right. ...

My current school has gone from five consecutive years on the state's low performing list to number one in the state in five of six measured educational indicators; however, I am now beginning to believe maybe what we are teaching (and measuring) is not relevant, rigorous, or replicable beyond our small scope. ...
Quite frankly, what IS it that we wish to accomplish? The bottom line is this: students should exit our educational system with excellence in problem solving and communication and an ability to continue their education beyond a formal preparation. This would prepare them for every eventuality. If we train them in regurgitation and finite sets of information, then we prepare them for YESTERDAY.

I agree and disagree with Dr Jan. I agree that a proven educational formula is not always reproducible. I disagree that educational failure is always the educator's fault.

Educators or teachers are part of a system where not all the variables are controlled by the teachers/educators. As a result, what works for one teacher may not work for another, etc.

What is normally conveyed is that the common elements for most successful schools are high expectations, parental involvement, etc. But those elements alone won't cause any low-performing school to be successful, any more than you can get any parent to be a better parent or provider. A parent can't just automatically choose to make more money or provide more time for their kids. Likewise, a teacher can't make all the students learn at will.

The teachers should be the gem of society, but instead we are blamed and treated like the trash of society. No wonder the teaching turnover rate is 50% in 5 years.

I believe that one can't make a statement like the one that dr. Jan made; "educators are blamed for the problems in today's schools", but in a way it might be true in some of our schools in South Africa.

The educators here are to afraid to teach and they let the children take over their authority, which is wrong. They are still the teachers and the children are still the learners.

I believe that this is caused by the fact that learners in fact donot learn relevant information. When i talk about relevant, I mean that learners aren't interested in the work they have to study. I believe that work should be related to their every day lives and it should be made and presented so that they will benefit out of the work.

Expectations should be met, but students should still enjoy the work they learn. If this happens one will achieve results with the students enjoying the work. We have to equip them for tomorrow and the future.

Schools are structured to serve Beaver Cleaver in the 1950s, then are amazed that structure doesn't fit Beavis and Butthead, who show up in the 2000s. It is so past time for a change. There are not enough of us saying that. It is not being said loudly enough. Thanks for your article.

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Recent Comments

  • R Wells: Schools are structured to serve Beaver Cleaver in the 1950s, read more
  • Elmarette van Zyl: I believe that one can't make a statement like the read more
  • MathMaestro: I agree and disagree with Dr Jan. I agree that read more




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