PaCT with the Devil

This post was originally written as a comment on this post by Tara, but my iPad wouldn’t play nicely with Blogger. Read Tara’s post first or the following won’t make sense… (probably won’t anyway).

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Unfortunately this is another educational solution built on the shifting sands that are National Standards. There are many that have accepted these insidious “measures” of student progress as a fait accompli, but they have no place in a modern education system or rich curriculum designed to work with diverse and disparate learner needs. I know I risk overusing a previously espoused analogy, but we are the camp guards here. We’re the ones helping to deliver this solution and we’re the only ones who can stand up and say enough is enough. Without us it is doomed to collapse. If we continue to stand silently by and claim no responsibility for the destructive effects these policies will have on a generation of learners then we have only ourselves to blame. Every tool that is developed to assist in the production of little cube shaped learners is just a shift up in efficiency, another widget mould that demeans our students and belittles our profession. We have to turn away from these tools, destabilize the tick boxes and league tables of below/meeting/above and revive the broader aims of The New Zealand Curriculum.

So… where do we start?

11 Responses

  1. I agree that this policy is insane. Not every student thinks the same way. So, how can they expect every teacher to? If it was not for some of my teachers who thought differently than others, I never would have made it out of my math classes with passing grades. “Where do we start?” is kind of a tricky question. There is always trial and error, but do we really want to do that? The only thing that comes to my mind is to talk to students. See if they think it would make it easier on them if all teachers taught the same way and thought the same way. My bet is they say no.

    Lyndsie VanHorn

  2. I am an education major in the United States. I wholeheartedly agree with this post. We are having similar problems here. People do like their numbers and cannot resist categorizing and organizing data in order to prove…what exactly? Children are not numbers, people are not numbers. This is bad business. Students learn at different rates, in different ways. The “standardization” of education is an impossible goal, yet we spend so much of our time trying to do so. It will not work, in any country.

  3. I am sorry that I forgot my information.
    My twitter: @bebe_thompson

  4. Hi teachernz,

    My name is Ashley and I am a student at the University of South Alabama, in the United States. I agree with your post. Every student is different and some students do not think they same way as their peers. I agree if educators do not take a stand it will effect the generation being taught. Educators are the solution to this problem.

  5. People do like their numbers and cannot resist categorizing and organizing data in order to prove. This is bad business. Students learn at different rates, in different ways. I agree with your post. The kids in our classroom are infinitely more significant than the subject matter we teach.

  6. Blog was good.People do like their numbers and cannot resist categorizing and organizing data in order to prove. This is bad business. Students learn at different rates, in different ways. I agree with your post. The kids in our classroom are infinitely more significant than the subject matter we teach.

  7. Our children are our most precious resource. Having their educators teach them according to a standard that clearly does not take into consideration the fact that children learn at different rates and different styles is not putting the childrens best interest first. What next, telling the teachers how to decorate their classrooms?

  8. Hi Teachernz!
    My name is Jamie Lynn Barbour and I am an education in major in elementary education, at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am one of Dr. Strange’s EDM310 students.
    I agree with your post that all students learn and understand concepts at a different pace and in different ways. There are all types of different learners just like there are a variety of different types of teachers. Teachers teach each of their classrooms and students in different ways. That is what makes learning fun. That is also what makes our teachers unique.
    It sounds like PaCT is similar to the US version of Common Core Standards. The CCS focuses on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades, [which enables] teachers to take the time needed to teach core concepts and procedures well—and to give students the opportunity to master them (Common Core State Standards). I think that the more regulated teaching becomes the less effect our teaching has on students.
    Thanks for your post. You can check out my blog here.
    Thanks so much,
    Jamie Lynn Barbour
    jamielynnbarbour@gmail.com

  9. Hi, My name is Chasity. I am an education student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking a project based learning course which focuses its teaching on eliminating “burp- back education”. By “burp-back education” we mean classes were a teacher fills a student with information only to expect the student to “burp” that information back to them. I could not agree more with your post. One of the things we are facing here is a “no child left behind policy”. Sounds great, but as mentioned all students learn differently and to pile a large number of students into one classroom and expect every student to work at the same pace is absurd. Not to mention expecting a teacher to be able to pick up with a student where another teacher left off. The standards of teaching and learning should not be decided by those who have little to no involvement in what actually happens in a classroom. I thank you for your post and I am always interested in receiving ideas from teachers on how I should handle my classrooms in the future. I have a blog at chasityheubachEDM310@blogspot.com.

    Thank you again!

  10. Hi, I am a student in edm310 at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I agree with your blog. I don’t think you can categorize every student. Each student is different and no two students are the same. So why are education leaders trying to make it this way. I have asked myself this question many times and I have yet to come up with the answer. I wish that these leaders would take a step back and give the teachers and the students the reigns since we are the ones in the classroom and are seeing what is going on.

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