feldman module 14 1 santrock chapter 16 n.
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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.

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approaches to learning
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
We Have an Expensive, Poorly-Performing School system

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.

accountability will testing work
Accountability: Will testing work?

Positives: It is argued that test standards will:

improve performance

improve confidence

Negatives: State-mandated tests drive learning objectives

no child left behind 2002
No Child Left Behind 2002
  • State determined standards in math, English/language arts, science
  • All students must have standard tests in grades 3-8.
  • Critics say:
    • Teaching to the test is too narrow
    • Creativity, social skills, persistence, etc. not measured
getting around the test
Getting around the test

Teach to the test

Cheat on the test

Ignore the test results

Lower the test standards

the problem is systemic
The Problem is Systemic
  • Schools are too bureaucratically controlled.
    • No one size fits all
    • Curricula come from the state, influenced by the federal government
    • Wrong decisions are quickly disseminated, hard to retract (self-esteem; new math; whole language)
    • When you pay for ideas, you will ultimately pay for some bad ones
the problem is systemic1
The Problem is Systemic

Too much competitive pressure and too little consideration of developmental maturity (brain/body readiness)

Developmentally appropriate kindergarten, for example

child centered kindergarten
Child-centered Kindergarten

Education of the whole child: physical, cognitive, socio-emotional

Emphasis on the process of learning

Hands-on vs. paper & pencil tasks

Play is important

study hart others 2003
Study (Hart & others, 2003)

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.

controversy over early childhood education
Controversy over Early Childhood Education

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

project head start
Project Head Start

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.

complaints from elementary school
Complaints from Elementary School
  • Too much pressure to cover the curriculum – related to testing
    • Ignores the principle that it is better to learn a foundational skill well than repeatedly
middle or junior high
Middle or Junior High
  • 1989 Carnegie Foundation Report
    • “. . Young adolescents
      • attend massive impersonal schools;
      • learn from seemingly irrelevant curricula;
      • trust few adults in school;
      • and lack access to health care and counseling.”
care has not been taken to insure the quality or accuracy of curriculum materials
Care Has Not Been Taken to Insure the Quality or Accuracy of Curriculum Materials

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

schools moral development
Schools & Moral Development
  • Hidden curriculum (John Dewey, 1930)
  • Character education – explicit moral code
  • Values clarification
  • Cognitive moral education
    • Discussion course
  • Service learning
schools discipline
Schools & Discipline

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.

schools have been used for indoctrination
Schools Have Been Used for Indoctrination

Self-esteem movement

Political Correctness/tolerance

Global Warming


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.)

what have been the goals of these programs
What have been the goals of these programs?

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?