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“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.” -Henry Adams
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A Twitter Thread from David Bowles:
[Text transcript at the end of the screenshots]
I'll let you in on a secret. I have a doctorate in education, but the field’s basically just a 100 years old. We don’t really know what we’re doing. Our scholarly understanding of how learning happens is like astronomy 2000 years ago.
Most classroom practice is astrology.
Before the late 19th century, no human society had ever attempted to formally educate the entire populace. It was either aristocracy, meritocracy, or a blend. And always male.
We’re still smack-dab in the middle of the largest experiment on children ever done.
Most teachers perpetuate the “banking” model (Freire) used on them by their teachers, who likewise inherited it from theirs, etc.
Thus the elite “Lyceum” style of instruction continues even though it’s ineffectual with most kids.
What’s worse, the key strategies we’ve discovered, driven by cognitive science & child psychology, are quite regularly dismissed by pencil-pushing, test-driven administrators. Much like Trump ignores science, the majority of principals & superintendents I’ve known flout research.
Banking model --> kids are like piggy banks: empty till you fill them with knowledge that you're the expert in.
Lyceum --> originally Aristotle's school, where the sons of land-owning citizens learned through lectures and research.
Things we (scholars) DO know:
-Homework doesn't really help, especially younger kids.
-Students don't learn a thing from testing. Most teachers don't either (it's supposed to help them tweak instruction, but that rarely happens).
-Spending too much time on weak subjects HURTS.
Do you want kids to learn? Here's something we've discovered: kids learn things that matter to them, either because the knowledge and skills are "cool," or because .... they give the kids tools to liberate themselves and their communities.
Maintaining the status quo? Nope.
Kids are acutely aware of injustice and by nature rebellious against the systems of authority that keep autonomy away from them.
If you're perpetuating those systems, teachers, you've already freaking lost.
They won't be learning much from you. Except what not to become. Sure, you can wear them down. That's what happened to most of you, isn't it? You saw the hideous flaw in the world and wanted to heal it. But year after numbing year, they made you learn their dogma by rote.
And now many of you are breaking the souls of children, too.
It's all smoke and mirrors. All the carefully crafted objectives, units and exams.
WE. DON'T. KNOW. HOW. PEOPLE. LEARN.
We barely understand the physical mechanisms behind MEMORY. But we DO know kids aren't empty piggy banks. They are BRIMMING with thought.
The last and most disgusting reality? The thing I hear in classroom after freaking classroom?
Education is all about capitalism.
"You need to learn these skills to get a good job." To be a good laborer. To help the wealthy generate more wealth, while you get scraps.
THAT is why modern education is a failure.
Its basic premise is monstrous.
"Why should I learn to read, Dr. Bowles?"
Because reading is magical. It makes life worth living. And being able to read, you can decode the strategies of your oppressors & stop them w/ their own words.
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We coulda had a real one... Here's to you Bernie, here's to you.
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don’t make me tap the sign!!
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Things we should do in English class instead of just Shakespeare:
Compare & contrast a Rick Riordan book, an original Greek myth, and/or a retelling like Song of Achilles
Instead of talking about poetic devices, look for imagery, symbolism, and color theory in comics/graphic novels/Webtoons (Lore Olympus is a great example!!)
Analyze a Broadway musical instead of a Shakespeare play. (There’s SO MUCH to unpack in Dear Evan Hansen)
Have half the class read a book, and the other half listen to the audiobook. Do the audiobook kids have more similar interpretations? How much does the inflection and (unsaid) thoughts of the narrator influence ones takeaway?
10k notes and I’ll show this to my English teacher
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This kid is going places
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• An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.
• A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
• A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
• An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.
• Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”
• A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.
• Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.
• A question mark walks into a bar?
• A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.
• Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out -- we don't serve your type."
• A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.
• A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.
• Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.
• A synonym strolls into a tavern.
• At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar -- fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.
• A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.
• Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.
• A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.
• An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.
• The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.
• A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.
• The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.
• A dyslexic walks into a bra.
• A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.
• A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.
• A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.
• A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony
- Jill Thomas Doyle
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When the government tells us everything is fine for back to school
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So my chemistry teacher is this elderly lady who half the school is terrified of (she’s actually pretty nice once you get to know her though). She’s not one of the hip English teachers; she’s known for being tough and strict.
Last year we were doing a project on different properties of elements, and so we did a quick project where we made “birth announcement” cards for all of them with the date that they were discovered, what they look like, their properties, etc. Instead of “It’s a boy/girl!” we were supposed to write the state of matter (ex: “it’s a gas at room temperature!”), and I was a little annoyed but it wasn’t a big deal. BUT THEN my teacher GOES OFF about how that’s actually biological sex and you can’t know someone’s gender identity at birth and I was surprised but really happy.
Since I took AP Chem, I had her again this year, and on the first day, she asked all of us what are pronouns were! She even said, “He, she, they, or something else.” She didn’t do this when I had her last year, which shows that she’s still learning and growing. She was the first teacher who ever asked for our pronouns - that’s not really a thing at my school.
Oh, and by the way, she was a part of the BLM marches in my town last spring/summer. People always say that things just “weren’t done that way” when they were growing up, but I can GUARANTEE you that my teacher didn’t grow up knowing about preferred pronouns and racial justice. She didn’t let that stop her though - she continued to learn, change, and grow as a person. I’m sure there was a learning curve and it took her some time, but she made an effort to stand up for what’s right, and that means a lot to me.
So yeah, if this cishet, white, grandmother can still be willing to learn about how she can support equality, I think we all can.
Y’all got no excuses.
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Hooray for this mom.
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Bernie Sanders has turned his inauguration meme into a sweatshirt for charity. The “Chairman Sanders Crewneck”, named to honor Sanders new position as the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is on sale now for $45 with 100% of the proceeds going to Meals on Wheels Vermont.
It's 100% organic cotton fleece, made in the USA, Union printed, and also features the coat Bernie wore in the famous "I am once again asking..." meme.
This is the most on-brand thing ever, and I expected nothing less. What a legend!
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Teachers who refuse their ND student’s requests for more time on assignments by saying that “It Wouldnt be fair to the other students”... you realize that giving accomodations IS fair, and the it’s actually refusing accomodations that’s UNFAIR? Disabled students are at a disadvantage, refusing accomodations is refusing to level the playing field.
You are making things LESS fair by refusing. Not more.
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