Little bit of Home Ed musings…

Soo, reading “Prizes for everyone”, realising a problem with the educational programs on the PC.

In that none of them actually teach anything.

In much the same methodology as enacted (allegedly) by many schools, they ask questions, let the child futz around getting an answer, then tell them what the answer is.

Rather than take them through the principles involved before posing a problem, the problem is posed, and then answers given with precious little explanation.

Yeah, sure, the assumption is that they’re supposed to be supported by formal teaching, but can it be that every program is following the same model? I’d be happier if there was a bit after the answers explaining… You know, play a game with grouping objects, have a little bit about properties and sets. But so far, nothing, well done, you’ve done it right, but you don’y know why or how.

So that’s the prgram I’ll be writing then.


3 thoughts on “Little bit of Home Ed musings…

  1. In much the same methodology as enacted (allegedly) by many schools, they ask questions, let the child futz around getting an answer, then tell them what the answer is. Ah, if only this were merely ‘alleged’. In mathematics education, advocates call this “Whole Math”, or “Reform Math”, or “Complete Math”. Opponents call it “Fuzzy Math”, or “Placebo Math” (I like that one), or “Mish Math”. The idea, which only a PhD in Education could possibly believe for an instant, is that kids will learn basic math better by undirected experimentation than they will by being told how to get the right answer. The result, predictably, is kids who lack both the basic math skills they were supposed to be learning AND the patience to endure actual instruction, should they ever receive any. See, for example, Mathematically Correct for more details of how this approach is taking over major public school systems all over the country.

  2. The major problem being the assumption that child centred learning can be effectively managed in anything other than a 1 to 1 situation: as it is, it’s a manifesto for neglect of the pupil. I wouldn’t call my son lazy: he’s, ah, very efficient in the deployment of his energy for maximum effectiveness. So if he’s left alone to “work” and is praised for the achievements of 5 minutes work in a hours’ schooling, he will only do 5 minutes. The UK view is in “All must have prizes” by Melanie Phillips, which manages to attack the orthodoxy of CCL from a liberal / left perspective: CCL is failing the very children it was intended to serve, by priveliging the ineducated over their educators, and by a refusal to recognise that a) “rigid” learning of rules as opposed to “creativity” is a false dichotomy b) Grammar, spelling, maths… these are all tools to empower pupils, not the imposed straightjackets of hegemonic power c) There may be an infinite number of ways to express yourself correctly, but that does not imply that anything goes. d) relativism should proceed from the idea that, while there are many diverse things which are good and worthwhile in an abundance of cultural spheres, crap is still crap, however it’s coloured. Again, I’m pretty far left in my political leanings, but that makes me even more sure that children deserve the best in teaching, and that the primary job of a teacher is to equip pupils with as full a set of tools as they can to function within society, not to congratulatte them for expressing themselves, however illiterately, however innumerately. I owe it to my son to correct bad maths, bad grammar, and basically where he is wrong, as in a few short years he will be in a world where no-one lese will do that for him, and he will be at the mercy of those fortunate enough to either have an innate grasp of such things or to have been educated by those that thought these things important.

    1. a) “rigid” learning of rules as opposed to “creativity” is a false dichotomy Well put. I’ve taken to asking CCL (or whatever we call it over here) advocates whether they allowed their own children to explore creative alternative solutions during their toilet training — and, if not, why not?

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