Re: [unrev-II] Important Quotes

From: Jack Park (
Date: Fri Oct 19 2001 - 22:11:13 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] Important Quotes"

    At 10:01 PM 10/19/2001 -0700, Eric wrote:

    >But, in general, I think that the quality of the educational process may
    >more reflective of the quality of the people who purport to be
    >in it. I saw many students who relied on memory and regurgitation
    >in addition to just plain copying, to get the grades they needed.

    Gaming the system, that.

    >To blame the educational institution for the quality of the education
    >got is, I think, unjust.
    >It probably makes more sense to blame the policies that utilize grades
    >selection criteria for jobs and for higher education.
    >In Cambridge, if memory serves me (and it may not), I believe that one
    >simply graduates, or does not. There are no grades. There are
    >recommendations from one's teachers -- so the reputation of that
    >teacher and the wording of the recommendation counts for a lot --
    >and there are entrance examinations, but there is little reliance on
    >"grades" as an indicator of performance.
    >Thinking about it, that is probably a very good thing.

    Very close to my thinking, Eric. A public education system, in theory, is
    a good thing. But, when the system is designed to enforce "one size
    curriculum fits all" and to add insult to that injury by mandating a "one
    size test fits all", the system is bound to collapse. And it is doing
    that, though there are some really strong counterpoint examples.

    Even the charter schools that don't have to live up to the usual teaching
    standards still have to submit their kids to the same tests (sat 9, around
    here), so there is a tendency to stray from constructivist, project-centric
    activities and meander back toward teaching to the test.

    I believe in holding high expectations for learners, but I don't believe
    passing standardized tests is the way to measure success. Thus, I think
    that those who do well do so by way of the Mark Twain and Al Einstein quotes:
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." Mark Twain
    "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." Albert Einstein

    I confess before all who would read this, and, as they say, the front page
    of the NY Times, that I was a lousy student until I entered grad
    school. One size just didn't fit this writer.


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