Channel-Talk for The Learning Classroom
Date: Thu Oct 02 2003 - 15:59:15 EDT
Next message: Akhila Seshadri: "Re: [Channel-talklearning] Response to Akhila"
Thanks so much for your lengthy responses to my postings. I am excited
that there are people in other countries taking this course. I appreciate
hearing about a non-western point of view and refreshed to find that we
think so much alike. I often feel like a traitor or an alien in the public
education system because I am not totally enthused with technology as it is
used today in the school setting. I have to constantly pretend that I am
completely committed to using technology when in fact I would rather
emphasize the need to think carefully before jumping to the conclusion that
all we need to solve a problem is a new piece of software.
I can't tell you how much money we have spent on software here that has
either hardly been used or never used. So much money is wasted. And often
technological solutions require even more effort to learn to use them and
then to train others. During this time instruction could be given the "old
fashioned way" with paper and pencil and even books! We now have software
that will read any text to students. This software was purchased to help
special education students who have trouble reading. However, now many of
the other kids use it just because they don't feel like reading. I'm not
sure this is a good trend. Today I notice that students do not spell well,
have sloppy handwriting, and hate to read. I anticipate there will come a
time when our society becomes completely iliterate. At that point people
will simply click on pictures of things and the computer will read the
information to them because they won't be able to read. Maybe I should
write a science fiction novel about this.
I have also read and studied eastern philosophy. I have practiced
meditation for years along with T'ai Chi. I agree with Krishnamurti that
there are influences on children that affect learning even prior to birth.
I too believe that education should be focused on the transformation of
human beings. I think we often get stuck in thinking of students as "human
doings' instead of "human beings". We focus too much on what kids are
doing in a superficial sense and we lack the awareness necessary to deepen
our experience of teaching and the subtle influences that our being has on
Being such a sensitive person is difficult in what I consider an insane
environment. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and
over again and expecting a different result. I would say that definition
fits the public education system here quite well.
I am impressed that you do not give calculators to students until grade 11
and that you give a formal class in media literacy to your students.
That's more than we do here.
Stay in touch.
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