Weekly Math Updates

September 22, 2005

Hi all,

    Here's a couple of articles that are excellent if you'd care to read them.  I've included a brief snippet from each.

Why Traditional Education Is More Progressive by E.D. Hirsche


" If parents were told straightforwardly that the so-called "untraditional" or "modern" mode of education now dominant in our schools has coincided with the decline of academic competencies among our students, they might be less enthusiastic about the experiment. When these dismal outcomes are pointed out, progressive educators usually reply that progressivism has never been tried "properly." That is false. It is merely the fail-safe defense that apologists use for all unsuccessful theories.

...In short, many progressive educational assertions that have attained the status of unquestioned fact by being repeated constantly are huge oversimplifications. They wither under close scrutiny. And they have done serious harm."

Bright students deserve more than busy work by Thomas Sowell


"High potential will remain only potential unless it is developed. But the very thought that high potential should be developed more fully never seems to occur to many of our educators — and some are absolutely hostile to the idea.
      It violates their notions of equality or "social justice," and it threatens the "self-esteem" of other students. As a result, too often a student with the potential to become a future scientist, inventor or a discoverer of a cure for cancer will instead have his time tied up doing busy work for the teacher.
      Even so-called "gifted and talented" programs often turn out to be simply a bigger load of the same level of work that other students are doing — keeping the brighter students busy in a separate room.

...Maybe the advancement of science, of the economy, and finding a cure for cancer can wait, while we take care of self-esteem."


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