Teaching the Long Cheat

7 10 2006

Interesting discourse at Aude Sapere on cheating as taught to and by teachers:

If a student is not taught that his work has a value, why would anyone be surprised when he later takes immoral shortcuts?

If a student has to put in a 2+ hour effort on an assignment, it is not appropriate to give him 1.5 points which contributes to a total score of 214 points. Yes, that’s about .007% of the total grade. Even the most irrational, untaught mind will kick in and see the inherent worthlessness in that kind of time-to-effort exchange…

I’ve yet to see an education or certification course that wasn’t built upon “groupthink” . . .Ultimately, these practices are encouraged and usually backed up with some kind of rationalized justification like, “Teachers should collaborate for the benefit of their students.”

So just what kind of teacher does this create?

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Slow Food, Slow School

7 10 2006

Jeanne at Daryl Cobranchi’s place read something I haven’t yet, that has her blogging about the Cult of Speed and how home education needn’t worship at that altar.

It not only gave me a good book recommendation but an opening to interject a little school-is-to-food thinking from Phi Delta Kappa’s education journal.

It’s Time to Start the Slow School Movement

The “slow food” movement began as a protest against the global proliferation of McDonald’s restaurants. Mr. Holt calls for a similar backlash against today’s “hamburger” approach toward education, which emphasizes uniformity, predictability, and measurability of processes and results…

There is no reason why the phrase “slow school” should not acquire the cachet associated with “slow food.” In many aspects of life, doing things slowly is associated with profound pleasure. Fast sunbathing is not regarded as particularly enjoyable. If we want to understand a striking baseball catch, we replay it in slow motion… the treasures of Florence… If we want our children to apprehend the variety of human experience and learn how they can contribute to it, we must give them — and their teachers — the opportunity to do so. Let the slow times roll!





School Snack News

7 10 2006

Don’t get me started on tales of the olden days when I was a schoolchild, before campus vending machines were dreamt of, much less omnipresent. My elementary school had a real school nurse then too, who seemed as lonely as the Maytag repairman, needed for nothing until you skinned your knee at recess, something else kids lost along with the nurse — am I the only one for whom all this seems backward, not progress at all?

friendly nurse, standing
Speaking of long-past school days, Dr. Phil had his old major professor on the show yesterday, telling parents how to make their kids smarter for school without tutors, by feeding them protein and complex carbohydrates in the morning. So if parents heed this advice, wouldn’t you think the kids would get smart enough not to buy the JUNK?? And if it doesn’t work even that well, then what real good was that healthy breakfast for their brains and thinking skills?

The five food manufacturers — Dannon, Kraft Foods, Mars, PepsiCo and the Campbell Soup Company — agreed to make specific changes in what they sell to schools. . .

¶Mars has created a new line of nutritious snacks.

¶Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo, is reformulating several products to meet the guidelines.

¶Kraft is decreasing the sodium and calories in products it sells for school vending machines.

¶Campbell is promoting soups that are lower in calories, fat and sodium, and offering additional products with less sodium.

¶Dannon is reducing the sugar content of its Danimals drinkable yogurt by 25 percent.

Some states and school districts already have strict limits on food sold outside the government-regulated school lunch and breakfast programs. But

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