A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hide the butter knives, because I may be despondent after this.

Are you a history teacher, or a parent? Well go read this, and see how you do.

Here's the actual article from USAToday.

Jeez. I need a drink.

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At 2/26/08, 7:14 PM, Blogger socalledauthor said...

Of course, it's the teacher's fault that kids don't know these things... well, now, I'm a history teacher, and even if the students do the work and do well on the quiz, within a few weeks, most of them won't remember what was on the quiz. That must be my fault, right?

I hate these sort of reports. I really do. It's just more so-called ammunition against teachers. But no one ever thinks to blame the kids for not putting the time or effort into their own learning. Not that all teachers are good, but where is personal responsibility for the kids who don't value there own education.

At 2/26/08, 7:44 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Oh, I agree with, because of course, if the kids don't know it, it's because they've never heard it....

At 2/26/08, 8:16 PM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

What do you think of the controversy surrounding Columbus Day? Do you think it's made teachers a bit wary of including any kind of study? Back in the day, we would sing-song "in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and make little cardboard replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

At 2/26/08, 8:35 PM, Anonymous MsWhite said...

Mrs. T,

One cannot have an intelligent debate about that which is controversial if one is uninformed. Unless you are teaching Columbus as hero, I don't see a problem (as a teacher or a parent). I think the current trend toward political correctness is one of the reasons our kids are so ill-informed. As Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

At 2/26/08, 8:41 PM, Blogger matineeidol said...

On Columbus Day in my high school, my European history teacher (public HS) read "A People's History of America" and we talked about apathy. Many students took up the chant 'happy killing the natives day!'

That's ONE approach...

My question is about merit-pay. I've been looking at some legislation that would create merit-pay schedules, with the caveat that it would be optional--it wouldn't be mandatory. Any thoughts? Does incentive improve teaching (my thought it that good teachers are good teachers regardless...but that merit pay helps good teachers who are also NEW teachers)? Have any of you seen how it works first-hand?

At 2/26/08, 8:46 PM, Blogger Mister Teacher said...

Mrs. T, I always learned it as "In a year around 1950, Columbus sailed in three ships nifty."
No wonder kids don't know it...

At 3/1/08, 11:28 AM, Blogger Clix said...

I dunno. Even as a teacher, I don't EXPECT people to have the same cultural library I do.

My husband used to work at a carpet mill, and one of his co-workers showed him a sketch and he said, "Wow, you're a regular Van Gogh!" and the co-worker didn't know what he meant, and claimed that nobody else would get it either. So at break they went around and asked some of the other workers if they knew who Van Gogh was.

Nobody - not ONE - did.

But not knowing something can be a good thing. It gives you an opportunity to say "Tell me more!" to someone.


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