KNOWING, DOING ,B E L I E V I N G--does this sound like indoctrination to you?No one should be FORCED to BELIEVE anything.This all sounds like the Hitler youth camps to me- you better get on board and BELIEVE- no dissent accepted! Our Helena teachers are being forced to buy that they need to COLLABORATE to be a good teacher. Their students are not their students- they belong to the whole school ( unless of course there is failure- then it must be the TEACHER'S FAULT AND HE/SHE WILL NEED REMEDIATION BY HER PRINCIPAL AND THE COLLABORATION TEAM!!). I looked up the bio on these two "geniuses" that thought up all this garbage and was not surprised to learn that Robert Eaker is a professor of "educational leadership" in Tennessee and his partner in crime, Janet Keating, is a deputy superintendent of schools in Washington. I guess it's not a great secret that Doctorates in Education are a JOKE. Administrators in Education are, for the most part, especially these days, scared rabbits that are puppets for higher authority and do no thinking on their own at all. Case in point- our superintendent here in Helena who has a doctorate in education, parroted the old stand by "Kids just don't need to learn so much today because they can look it up!", at a recent board meeting. It took a member of the audience, namely me, to point out to him that just because you look something up doesn't mean you know it! I pointed out (as readers of my blog already know) that he couldn't read an article on astrophysics and understand it because he doesn't know astrophysics- voila- more information being available our students need more of a foundation of knowledge than ever!!Kent doesn't even need to do the KNOWING and DOING- he just B E L I E V E S WHATEVER the bureaucrats tell him!! He just looked at me sheepishly and we moved on.
I don't know exactly how Keating and Eaker got on this train to success-making them the divine arbiters of what all educators must B E L I E V E, probably a lot of kissing up to Washington bureaucrats- but it's not by a lot of hard data and research. It certainly can't be common sense that brings these two to their great pinnacle of greatness that allows them to dictate to school districts and teachers across the nation. Teachers are individuals, as we all are. They have their own ways of doing things as we all do. No two parents parent exactly the same way and no two teachers teach exactly the same way. The best teaching happens, as I think we all know, when teachers are allowed to teach in their own style. We all had great teachers- and they were independent- not cowed by a collaborative group. As far as students belonging to EVERYBODY - One person is responsible for the learning in that classroom and it is the teacher. Opening the teacher up to "collaboration" that she/he may or may not want, brings on the bossy types, the kiss up to the principal types, that are in everybody else's business- and in my experience- usually aren't doing all that well with their own business. Hey NEA (the teachers "association") start earning your dues- what ever happened to the old academic freedom you used to SCREAM about?
Teachers have ALWAYS collaborated on some level, as all workers do- they give each other ideas and share materials and consult on problems. BUT- FORCED COLLABORATION IS FALSE AND INVASIVE AND TIME CONSUMING. Teachers are EDUCATED AND TRAINED PROFESSIONALS- they don't need these money mongering nobody's from out of state putting them in a Hitler straight jacket of vapid teaching ideas. Some teachers do struggle, and it IS in the principal's job description to offer help, though most of them can't teach themselves. The union has a negotiated agreement that protects teachers in these circumstances ,"planned improvement plans"- but the last thing that's going to make a good teacher is every teacher getting in on the act- they should be working on their own classrooms.
In the end this sounds like a lot of make work and hype that will try to force teachers to do things they don't want or need to do ,and will not improve education- but will deter the good educator from getting his/ her work done. The students are the ones that suffer from this. Like Bill Spady (Outcomes based education of the 90's) Eaker and Keating will have their money and be far down the road when all of this is deemed a failure. What bothers me most is the B E L I E V I N G part- maybe we could get some liberals in a forced environment and train them to KNOW conservativism- they would practice DOING common sense and then they would be forced to
B E L I E V E in it!!