I was at the Broadwater School planning meeting- townhall- Tuesday night. I looked at the crowd around me- mostly young and many school teachers from Broadwater and I wondered how things would go. What I found out is that the young parents are not as dumb and easily persuadable as our Superintendent might hope. After his lofty introduction about needing new buildings to "teach 21st century skills" one young father raised his hand and asked what the 21st century skills were!! I was cheering inside and gleefully waited for the Superintendent to squirm out of this one. He explained how all the children need to "collaborate" and do research.I'd like to talk to you about collaboration and research.
This young father did not follow up his question- very few people do educational research or know about the history of educational curriculums- but I think he could feel he was being snowed with this "21st century" stuff. Who determines what 21st century skills are? The 21st century skills are determined by socialists who run our school bureaucracy. The 21st century is what they say it is! As I've mentioned on this blog before- no one knows what the next 100 years will bring- this is a manipulation by the socialists to get what they want and shut you up. They hope you will just trust that they have some crystal ball that they look into and that they are "experts" that know the future. OF COURSE THEY DON'T KNOW ANY MORE ABOUT THE FUTURE THAN YOU DO!! The superintendent actually said that all people now work in situations where they have to "collaborate" and "think outside the box". BALONEY. Many more people are working from home today, thereby requiring more of an ability to be self disciplined and able to work on their own than ever before.
The reality is that the socialists have been trying to prepare your children for a socialist world for 50 years. When I was in college "collaboration and creativity" were called FREE SCHOOL. Then it was called THE OPEN SCHOOL. Then it was called COOPERATIVE LEARNING.Today it is called PROJECT LEARNING AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING.Why do you think they keep changing the name? They change the name because IT NEVER WORKS!!
PROJECT LEARNING in the new national curriculum "Common Core" is a disaster waiting to happen. Projects are fine to REINFORCE LEARNING. They are fun but they take up a lot of time and in no way teach a full curriculum. Self starters will do the work and learn the most- at risk children often learn NOTHING in these projects. What we do know from educational research- and any person who knows curriculum will tell you- DIRECT INSTRUCTION WORKS!! This is the old idea of teachers teaching students with whatever means- power points,white boards, school books etc. EVERYONE LEARNS IN THIS ENVIRONMENT. You teach, you practice and you test. You review, you reinforce, you build upon knowledge. You do redoes with youngsters who need more help and alter practice if that is necessary. EVERYBODY LEARNS!! Christopher Lohsee from the Association of School Chiefs admitted that the KIPP academies that use direct instruction are the most successful in the nation. Teresa Burson, our Helena School District Curriculum director, admitted "Direct Instruction Works". A man named Engleman who developed the Distar series for inner city youth was amazingly successful with his direct instruction curriculums. He was so successful that we later used these curriculums for Developmentally Delayed children. DIRECT INSTRUCTION WORKS.
What the Socialists are now saying to defend their socialist type teaching, that doesn't work- is that students don't need to learn so much knowledge today, and they won't be able to critically think (think outside the box) or " collaborate" with others if they are taught only through direct instruction. I have one name of a movie for them,APOLLO THIRTEEN!! Those astronauts were not taught in the "Project Learning" model- but when an emergency came they had the knowledge and discipline to get the job done- they successfully brought their friends home using a slide rule!!
We do know that there will be ever more technology in our future, but here's the thing-YOU CAN'T DO RESEARCH IF YOU CAN'T READ AND YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE RESEARCH IF YOU DON'T HAVE KNOWLEDGE!! I don't know what the 21st century will be anymore than anyone else- but I know this- children raised with personal discipline and morals who are given the opportunity to LEARN THE KNOWLEDGE THEY NEED, will do just fine in the 21st century- whatever that turns out to be. Critical thinking and creativity follow people with the knowledge and personal discipline to work and try- think Edison, Bell,the Wright Brothers,and any other great person who has brought our world forward-they didn't learn in projects. Our founding fathers built a great nation with amazing ideas that still keep us free today- because they had KNOWLEDGE and INTEGRITY.Don't let these jokers fool you.God willing this will never be a socialist nation- and I have some voting advice for all you wonderful young parents- in this next election VOTE FOR THE AMERICANS!!