Arguing Over What Public Schools Should Do?*

Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher:

I believe our nation’s public schools should be as diverse as our country, its citizens, and the patchwork quilt of cultures and values therein. An overly centralized, overly “common” approach minimizes our ability to harness the natural creativity within us in response to our changing world. A monolithic educational system is doomed in the long-run. So, why accelerate that process?

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

“Why do people argue so much about education?”

I heard this question as I pumped up Mt. Hamilton. Biking up a California mountain forces you to think about many things or else you note how goofy you are for taking five hours to climb nineteen miles just to eat peanut butter sandwiches in the parking lot of the James Lick Observatory. So two friends and I chat about biking, the panoramas of the Santa Clara valley and, yes, even education.

About halfway up the mountain my friends and I began talking about the constant disagreement over schools. Victor mentioned the uproar over whether a high school should provide condoms to students. Deborah remembered a conversation with an aunt who was a “creationist.” They knew I was an educator and this led to Deborah’s question: “Why do people argue so much about education?” Let me pick up the conversation as we…

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Tissue Paper Reforms: Coding for Kindergartners

Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher:

“Sadly, schools jump to new technologies like frogs on lily pads.” Great quote from a commenter to Larry Cuban’s post.

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Some school reforms are like rebar that have lasted for more than a century. Examples? The age-graded school and the kindergarten.

Some school reforms are like industrial-strength plastic-covered packages which cover new toys, computer cables and gifts. After the plastic sheath is pried open, it can be recycled and appears later as fabrics, fencing, and benches. Examples?  The New Math, New Science, New Social Studies of the 1960s and 1970s lasting for a decade or so then are recycled years later to reappear later as the New New Math, etc. ,etc.

Some school reforms are like tissue paper that, after one or two uses, shreds and is tossed away. Examples?  Coding for kindergartners.

'We     ... In class today.'

Why is coding for kindergarteners neither rebar nor unbreakable plastic but flimsy tissue paper?

Coding as a Tissue Paper Reform

Teaching young children to code (which may or may not be learning to program) reminds me of…

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Cartoons about Coding and High Tech for Young Children

Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher:

Great cartoons lampooning the current bandwagon of coding for all students…

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

As a follow-up to the previous post on coding for kindergartners, I have selected some cartoons about the unceasing and ever-escalating demands of schooling young children and current efforts to use high-tech devices. Cartoonists have a special angle on a topic often missing from how policymakers see the world. And best of all, cartoonists make their points using either a sledge-hammer or an ice pick rather than the tools policymakers use such as words and dollars. Enjoy!

kdg

'I just wanted to thank you for grounding me to my room for the weekend. I took the time to start a computer programming company, which earned me $13 million.'

edu45

'We     ... In class today.'

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If I learn how to write Roman Numerals, will that help me write computer code?

wom022388

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