Re: Education lessons

1

On the veldt, everybody who made it to thirty figured out calculus on their own.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:09 AM
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2

It'd be tough to find a matched population for college students, especially the median student.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:11 AM
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3

I imagine I learned more not being in college from 18-ish to 24-or-so than I would have in college during the same period, but as ever I'm not a good model.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 7:22 AM
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4

I've noticed my own kid's test scores tend to fluctuate wildly, depending on whether or not he is grumpy that day. So, I think the best strategy, if I was running a school, would be to throw a pizza party on the day of the test.

Its likely that 18 to 24 year-olds would react positively to pizza as well. Or, if not pizza, perhaps alcohol?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:10 AM
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5

Why not try both? We have the technology. I've seen it done.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:16 AM
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6

I had friends in grad school that brought in doughnuts on student evaluation day, shamelessly kidding-on-the-square.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:17 AM
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7

6: I did that. I also did it for morning finals some semesters. It always made me laugh that there were some students who'd refuse, because they'd been up all night and had a bunch of caffeine. "Oh, I'd love to, but I'll puke."


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:27 AM
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8

Even small token treats on evaluations day turn out to have pretty impressive effects, from what I know. At least half the professors I've known (counting plenty of tenured full professors five or six years from retirement) have done something like that, though usually with something small like halloween candy. With some of the older ones it was harder to tell if it was intentional gaming, habit, or just enjoying having an excuse to give kids candy, though.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:30 AM
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9

The latter were the ones with windowless vans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:31 AM
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10

At Heebie U, the student evaluations are ridiculously inflated, and I have no idea why, but it sure makes me not bother with the doughnuts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:47 AM
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11

The phrase "perfectly unaligned curriculum" seems really problematic. Wouldn't a perfectly unaligned curriculum be one where you study poetry and are tested on math?

The phrase doesn't seem to be in the original publication. All I could tell from skimming is that they used a complicated formula to determine the overall alignment of the curriculum based on the alignment of its parts, but I didn't drill down to see how the alignment of the parts are defined.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:48 AM
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12

I figured it meant they taught you all the wrong answers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:50 AM
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13

The same point as 11 is tormenting me. What does "perfectly unaligned curriculum" mean? White noise?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:50 AM
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14

Or told you the test was one day, when you'd really missed it the day before?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:50 AM
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15

The way they explain lesson 1 strikes me as wrong. It doesn't surprise me that if you want people to be able to memorize something or repeat an algorithm that drilling is best. That's kind of obvious, especially if you've restricted only to the worst students. The point of teaching people to think rather than just drill is that you want them to be able to think themselves rather than just repeat instructions. So that research says nothing about whether a traditional approach is better than the "common core" approach, and only says that your test is stupid and doesn't test understanding.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:52 AM
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16

The first finding described in the NPR article also strikes me as problematic. Isn't it already well known that direct instruction comes out looking really good if you define competence simply as performance on narrowly defined tasks? Obviously, if all you really care about is the outcome of a given test, then instruction that does nothing but teach to that test is ideal.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:54 AM
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17

16 pwned by 15 a little, but really what i wanted to emphasize is that we've seen these kinds of studies all the time in the past used by advocates of direct instruction. They keep saying "Look it's science! Our method is best!" but really they've framed the debate in a way that means they are guaranteed to win.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:57 AM
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18

I figured it meant they taught you all the wrong answers.

No, that's a perfectly inversely aligned curriculum, not a perfectly unaligned one.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 8:57 AM
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19

I fucking hate education politics. As soon as I leave the tiny realm of philosophers in education, I run into people spouting shit that is so aggressively stupid I can only infer malice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:02 AM
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19: But education pedagogical research isn't actually necessarily being corrupted and funded by privatization interests the way education politics is. Some of it probably is, but a lot of it isn't. There's been a whole lot of ignoring what ed people have been saying explicitly - like the problems of mass testing, etc. It is good to have people doing ed research.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:17 AM
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21

My mom was an educational researcher who studied the Baltimore City Public Schools back in the mid-1990s, during some of first attempts at having public schools run by private companies. Her conclusion noted that the privatized schools cost more, but didn't actually show any improvement. So, we've known this for 20 years, and yet the privatization interests press on....


Posted by: Sp!ke | Link to this comment | 03- 2-15 9:50 AM
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22

I don't totally understand these either. I'm perfectly willing to admit that the privatization of public schools is a zombie reason magazine/hey julian sanchez is actually a decent guy! shibboleth. (he's always been actually a decent guy to me.) nonetheless, my daughter is writing a humanities assignment on hitler and mussolini right now. there is just literally no way that if part of her grade 8 standardized assessment were on european fascism she wouldn't do better on that test than if this was the year they only learned about ancient chinese history. there's no plausible relation between standardized testing/learning about the warring states period on which that's false.

I believe they are going to write on hitler, mussolini and stalin in the end. she thinks this is very dubious. remember the member of the axis who created the greater east-asian co-prosperity sphere? shouldn't they, maybe, be getting kind of a look-in here? she thinks it is being avoided because it would hurt the feelings of the japanese kids, but as far as I can tell there are plenty of italian and german and russian kids, and no one seems very worried about the fledgling stirrings in their nationalistic breasts. conversely, some of the many korean, chinese, filipino, narnian, etc. etc. students may have feelings as well. I think that my husband's current narration to her of his experience of the monument in chicago to some fascist air hero (babbo?) who flew a number of silver planes to land in lake michigan in year 13 of the fascist era or something may be de trop. but even if we had done nothing and she had had only her competent teachers and the entire internet to fall back on, she would have learned something about the similarities and differences between mussolini and hitler. I was sort of happy to read that she thought both nations had scapegoated--along with jews, roma and slavic people--also gay, lesbian, bi and trans* citizens, since I think the fascists in question didn't even bother to go to all that trouble if you see what I mean. I almost said, "they didn't, exactly, because..." but then decided that I was failing a use/mention distinction in reverse.

in any case, she thinks mussolini's eyebrows were on fleek (metaphorically speaking, by extension, about his whole stylistic flair), and that no one could possibly have ever though hitler himself looked good, even though he obviously could stage a great show. she awaits with skepticism the account of why stalin comes next and not lenin prior or any japanese military officials or, I don't know, emperors or anything. but, as I say, there is no possible world in which nationwide testing standards demand knowledge of european fascism in the run-up to/during WWII, and she performs equally as well or badly as a year in which nationwide standardized testing systems demand knowledge of chinese history. zhang dynasty ritual bronzes! what's up with them? or trig. if they asked her about trig last year she would have known nothing, and at the end of this year she will know something. this can't be controversial or independent, variable-wise, from whether anyone teaches her trigonometry.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03- 3-15 6:10 AM
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23

also, I learned stuff in college. would I have done more drugs not in college? maybe not because I would have had to have more of a job? or I would have moved in with my grandmother and worked sketchy waitressing jobs? I think on the whole I would have done less drugs but learned way, way, way less stuff. I wouldn't have done intensive ancient greek; I am a lazy motherfucker. someone had to be standing around handing out the grades I so fiercely treasure. ALL THE A's.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03- 3-15 6:14 AM
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24

My son is that way with the tangible reinforcement/grades. I find it really annoying even though I was probably the same way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-15 6:24 AM
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