Feldman Module 14-1 Santrock Chapter 16. The Educational System. Approaches to Learning. Direct instruction Cognitive constructivist - Piaget Social constructivist – Vygotsky U.S. Schools tend to direct instruction/lock step. We Have an Expensive, Poorly-Performing School system.
The Educational System
Cognitive constructivist - Piaget
Social constructivist – Vygotsky
U.S. Schools tend to direct instruction/lock step
The United States has the second-best funded school system in the world ($7-12K student).
It has some of the most poorly-performing students in the industrialized world. We generally come out toward the bottom in international competitions.
Employers like Bill Gates argue that they must hire immigrants because of lack of qualified people in the U.S.
Last year’s SAT scores were the worst ever.
Positives: It is argued that test standards will:
Negatives: State-mandated tests drive learning objectives
Teach to the test
Cheat on the test
Ignore the test results
Lower the test standards
Too much competitive pressure and too little consideration of developmental maturity (brain/body readiness)
Developmentally appropriate kindergarten, for example
Education of the whole child: physical, cognitive, socio-emotional
Emphasis on the process of learning
Hands-on vs. paper & pencil tasks
Play is important
Children in developmentally inappropriate classrooms had slower growth in vocabulary, math application, and math computation.
Head Start children in developmentally appropriate programs more advanced in letter/word identification and performed better applying problems over time.
36 states now have standards specifying what young children should know and be able to do before they enter kindergarten
Standards focus too much on language & cognition, too little on physical, motor, socioemotional
Too much pressure on young children
Model preschool programs have been linked with long-term effects such as reduced rates of placement in special education, dropout rates, grade retention, delinquency and use of welfare.
An estimated 40% of the 1400 Head Start programs are of questionable quality according to the results of one study.
Political research arena.
Allowed unqualified textbook authors
Allowed apparently biased textbook authors
Permitted “revisionist” history
Used “artist rendition” examples for evolution
Substituted technical proficiency for content in some courses
Some schools have overemphasized peripheral subjects
When you eliminate religion from public discourse, you eliminate the foundation for moral authority
The principal, unlike the policeman, cannot arrest you and send you to jail.
Postmodernism/ whole language
Encouragement of group-dependent thinking
(No doubt this has caused conflict with “unbelieving” parents. There is an anti-parent sentiment and parent distrust of schools.)
Has there been a deliberate “dumbing down” of the curriculum?
Has there been a desire to keep people ignorant while they believed they were educated?
Has there been a discouragement of independent thinking?
Has there been bias - presentation of only one side of controversial issues as the only reasonable conclusion?