Below is a snippet - click here to read the entire article. It's interesting... are we working too hard to be everything to all children? Check out the data on how the number of school employees has increased exponentially over the years. Should we cut back on the support and return to simply "teaching" -- as in "imparting knowledge of a subject?" Food for thought.
Future teachers are taught that it is important for them to teach children how to learn, how to find information and collaborate, how to discuss feelings, and how to promote “social justice.” Teachers see their roles as going far beyond imparting a certain body of knowledge and set of skills. They see themselves alleviating the suffering children bring with them, shaping children into global citizens for a world free of conflict and hardship.
As a result, the most needy children today lack what I was the beneficiary of in the 1960s. They lack the challenge of clear expectations without regard to home life. They thus never learn how to leave problems behind for the task at hand.
They lack the order of a classroom of desks in straight rows. They lack the sense of responsibility that comes from being given chores, and assignments that carry the threat of failure. They lack the sense of accomplishment that comes from memorization, or writing a grammatically correct, logically argued essay. They lack the pleasure of reading and thinking on their own.
Instead, they wallow around in each other’s problems in “social and emotional learning” sessions, or in lessons that harp on “oppression.”
They work in noisy groups with expensive materials for “projects.” They sprawl out on the carpeted floors of their classrooms to “journal.” They are presented predigested math lessons in flashy programs that dazzle the eye, but ask little concentration.
Instead of teachers, they have “guides on the side” who have no clear answers and want to make the day “fun.” Instead of having the security of knowing that there is an adult in the front of the classroom who has knowledge and authority, they have someone who acts as entertainer, facilitator and emotional confidante.
Their parents have suffered in the form of higher taxes. Over the past 40 years, public school employment has risen 10 times faster than enrollment. Student population has risen by 9 percent, but we have twice as many school employees.
The cost of educating a student tripled between 1960 and 2000 (in inflation adjusted dollars). Then education spending grew by 32 percent between 1999 and 2009. Yet, we continue to slip farther and farther behind other nations in achievement. What our students are cheated of by our education system is initiative — initiative stolen by adults who see themselves as curers of social ills, rather than as people who have specific job descriptions.
This country was built on the initiative of those like Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglass, men who strove to learn and overcome. Our current educational philosophy takes that away from students and impoverishes them far beyond the ways in which their circumstances do.