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Thread: Education is FUBAR!!!!!

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    Mrs Frizzle gmbteach's Avatar
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    Education is FUBAR!!!!!

    So we had a reading meeting today and apparently there is a new edict coming from above with regards to reading.

    Apparently, we are not allowed to let students simply read for pleasure anymore. Any, and all reading that students do must have some sort of educational purpose. For example, if you are looking at speech marks as a ficus, students are meant to annotate their independent reading with nites about that.

    WTF happens to simply picking up a fucking book you find interesting or enjoyable and reading it? How the hell are we supposed to get kids enthusiastic about reading if they have to analyse every single fucking thing they read?

    What are your thoughts. And yes, as I am sure you can tell, this has me pretty steamed!

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    So you've also been seized with the attempt to cram more education in than there is school.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I am baffled by how badly they have managed to bungle primary school in the US. By the time the students get to me, they somehow have none of the skills that are supposedly being pushed, which is not surprising, as I see little evidence that those who design these programs understand critical reading either.

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    Teachers, especially the older ones that have their methods of teaching formed from a decade(s) of experience, are constantly getting these swerves.

    It must be crazy though to teach for decade(s) and have your skill sets well developed and then all of a sudden you are told that the methods have to change.

    My kid is just in first grade, so I haven't had enough exposure to the system.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    our school's 'outside reading' is still free-range. Which ends up with kids in 11th grade reading 'Holes' for the 8th time.

    But anything done as a class project has to be a book that's approved by a committee. The make-up of the committee reminds me of nothing more than the active people in a homeowner's association. Everyone has an axe to grind. One person's out to axe any book with bad language, another's trying to cleanse the world of sex, someone else wants to be sure no one 'gets away' with criminal behavior... What we're left with has no relevance to these kids' lives, and nothing they want to read anyway.
    My wife is thinking of downloading the maintenance manual for a 1983 Toyota Corolla, and have the kids read that. "Tell me how you think the author felt about battery replacement?"

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    Reading for fun is just about as educational as it gets.

    What happens if you as a group say (in your very best teacherise, of course): "Fuck that shit" ? Seriously. Can you just nod and smile and then continue to encourage children to read for pleasure as much as possible.

    Or ask they why they hate children? And suggest that they find a different line of work if they hate children and cannot see the value of reading for pleasure.

    Or, what happens if you challenge this notion (because I cannot bring myself to call it an idea) that children's reading must all be focused on somehow being tied to something (polite for fucking bureaucratic nonsense made up shit) that teachers must mark down and record? Why not just smile and nod and then list all the academic references possible for the ways that reading for pleasure builds better brains (TM if you need to but this is shorthand for all the ways that reading for pleasure contributes to positive brain development and positive social and ethical interactions, etc.)?

    Below has a lot of good sounding references that I don't have a minute to check out for myself and don't know if I have the access but seriously: the idea that all reading must be connected to some bureaucratic spreadsheet to make some bureaucrat feel more secure in their job and intellectual sub-mediocrity is FUBAR.

    https://www.read-nz.org/about/reading-for-pleasure/

    Reading is one of the most accessible and affordable arts activities and its benefits are well documented – OECD research shows that reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success. It’s even a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.
    From one of many sites that came up when I googled benefits of reading for elementary students.
    Ask which of these they find most objectionable:


    https://www.cameverlands.org.uk/10-benefits-of-reading/



    1. Children who read often and widely get better at it.

    After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.

    2. Reading exercises our brain.

    Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.

    3. Reading improves concentration.

    Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If the read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.

    4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.

    Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.

    5. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.

    Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.

    6. Reading develops a child's imagination.

    As we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.

    7. Reading helps children to develop empathy.

    As children develop they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.

    8. Reading is a fun.

    A book or an e-reader doesn't take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.

    9. Reading is a great way to spend time together.

    Reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.

    10. Children who read achieve better in school.
    Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.
    Back when I worked with children a lot, I told them specifically that reading was one of the most important and certainly the most rebellious things that they could possibly do. If they wanted to change the world: start by reading. And the next thing they could do was to write. And speak.

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    Pah, books are so old fashioned. Records are where it's at ! Vinyl is the future baby !!

    But I don't see how schools can control what books kids are reading outside of school for pleasure. Is anything being taken away from the kids ? It has been a while since I was at school but my school never thrust a book into my hand and say "Hey, read this on your own time, you'll love it !". It didn't work that way. We did get some library time where we would sit in the library and goof off for 45 minutes once a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Pah, books are so old fashioned. Records are where it's at ! Vinyl is the future baby !!

    But I don't see how schools can control what books kids are reading outside of school for pleasure. Is anything being taken away from the kids ? It has been a while since I was at school but my school never thrust a book into my hand and say "Hey, read this on your own time, you'll love it !". It didn't work that way. We did get some library time where we would sit in the library and goof off for 45 minutes once a week.
    Back in the olden days when I was an elementary school student, we were encouraged to take books out of the school library, which was even open on a very limited basis during the summer. We also had visits from the bookmobile, which extended the possibilities of our small school's library. We also were encouraged to purchase our own very budget conscious books from the Weekly Reader book selection, with some points or dollar amount being awarded to classrooms or teachers or the school library (don't remember which) to purchase books for students' use as well.Continued all the way through high school, those book purchases did. I believe this is how our classrooms had little libraries. To this day, I am a little bit in love with my third grade teacher who used to read to us as a class on a regular basis. The first book I remember her reading was Charlotte's Web.

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    Mrs Frizzle gmbteach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    So you've also been seized with the attempt to cram more education in than there is school.
    Yep! And that isn’t heir excuse - not enough time for frivolous things like reading for enjoyment.

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    Mrs Frizzle gmbteach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Teachers, especially the older ones that have their methods of teaching formed from a decade(s) of experience, are constantly getting these swerves.

    It must be crazy though to teach for decade(s) and have your skill sets well developed and then all of a sudden you are told that the methods have to change.

    My kid is just in first grade, so I haven't had enough exposure to the system.
    Yep! I have seen teacher skill set decline as the curriculum becomes more prescribed. I found students did so much better when the curriculum wasn’t broken down into its different areas, and was brought together by an overarching theme. You then focused your in class library around that theme, as well as some old favourites, and let them read. How hard is that?

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