Archive for February 3rd, 2008
February 3, 2008 in Reforms in Education
Tags: afrcia, africa, current events, education, English, freshman academy, geography, history, journalism, math, nclb, pedagogy, reforms, social science, sophomores, student teacher, teaching, the test, world history
The People’s Republic of California doesn’t require freshman-level history or social science. Therefore, our district doesn’t teach it.
In its place is a yearlong freshman health class — think “Communicable Diseases and You” — split with a seminar on how to succeed as a high school student. State-mandated and standards-driven, this approach looks good on paper.
The irony of the freshman seminar is that despite the adoption of the high school success class, the post-freshman dropout rate stubbornly stays at half.
World history teachers have an even less rosy perspective. As freshmen, the students’ mind is wiped clean. Whole classes’ worth don’t know what a continent is. Our sophomores might be able to place the nation of “Afrcia” on a map.
In response, the department wants a freshman map-quiz-current-events class. I want to teach it. We won’t get that chance. Continue Reading »
Every day, we experience a thousand moments, each of those moments setting in motion a thousand slightly different possibilities in the future. When we make these choices, we are thrust toward another day's crossroads, where we have another thousand choices.
Given the infinite number of choices we make in a lifetime, why do we choose so many of the same routes and make just as many of the same mistakes as our parents and grandparents?
I plan to learn from their mistakes. Let's see how far I get.
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