Archive for category teaching + learning

“Hours of idleness”

Pop quiz: how old would you say the writer of the following lines was?

In submitting to the public eye the following collection, I have not only to combat the difficulties that writers of verse generally encounter, but may incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself on the world, when, without doubt, I might be, at my age, more usefully employed.

40? 50? OK, people don’t write like that any more. Still, when they DID write like that, how old would the writer be? No? Read on:

These productions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young man who has lately completed his nineteenth year.

Preface to the first edition of “Hours of Idleness” by Lord Byron, first published in 1807.

What kind of education did he receive, to write like this at 19? With such confidence over multiple subordinate clauses? With such easy grace and self-deprecation which does not jar but rather charms? An education that included not only a great deal of reading (his preface is headed by three quotations from Horace (in the original Latin), from Homer (in the original Greek) and from Dryden), but also learning graceful good manners.

I admit I know nothing about Byron, other than that he was a poet, a ladies’ man,  an adventurer who spent some time gallivanting around southern Europe and the Near (possibly also Middle) East, who died young and swam the Bosphorus. Possibly not in that order. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why English Is Tough in Japan | A New Japan

An interesting article on English education in Japan over at The Diplomat. Referring to the Japanese government’s making English classes compulsory in 5th and 6th grade (that’s the last two years of primary school for you non-U.S. readers) onwards, law-school graduate Hiroki Ogawa writes,

The reality is that raw English ability alone is unlikely to produce any significant change, even assuming that Japanese students go on to have basic conversational skills in English which is often not the case anyway. The problem for many Japanese doesnt necessarily stem from the English lessons themselves, nor the lack of opportunities to use English in Japan though this does exacerbate the situation. The big problem is often the significant cultural barriers.

I’m going to comment on a few points of this article, as it’s well worth reading and makes an important point, but needs amplifying. Ogawa’s point is that Japanese don’t learn to discuss or argue in English class, and that this severely cramps their English communicative ability, and that (inevitably these days) the government should do something about it!

I think he’s right. Partly. But the situation is more difficult than he implies, and I don’t think the solutioncan be implemented by governmental regulation or initiatives. Read the rest of this entry »

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Key ideas – a list in progress


Camouflaged !

Originally uploaded by Kamala L

See the picture? Can you help her pick out the handful of items that she really needs to keep?

What are the key ideas in the field you are teaching? If you are teaching American history or culture or literature, what are the key ideas that you think the students need to get over the next 15 weeks?

If you have to choose, which will it be: the Declaration of Independence or the latest Lady Gaga/Beyonce music video?

I’ve been listing certain key concepts that seem important for people learning English in Japan to know. Overarching these is the notion of the importance of ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to raise entrepreneurs (TED talk)

Cameron Herold didn’t do well in school. Fortunately, his dad knew what to do about that.

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A good speaker tells stories


Lawrence W. Reed, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), here gives a talk on his seven principles of public policy. Sounds (yawn) fascinating. It’s actually a good example of how to give an interesting talk. Reed tells stories, and these stories elucidate, educate, enlighten.

First off, there’s his funny story about the property developer in Louisiana who was asked by HUD to provide the history of the plot of land he wanted to develop, prior to 1803. Well, prior to 1803, Louisiana belonged to France, as the property developer had to point out to the government officials at HUD, but he did not stop there.

Secondly, Reed illustrates his first principle with the story of the Kellogg brothers. The older brother was ambitious and successful; the younger one worked for his older one at 25$/week for many years. But it is the younger one who created the world-famous breakfast cereal. Hear how it happened.

This video illustrates something that entrepreneur and historian Gary North wrote about recently – The Rabbi and the Professor. He begins by quote Bob Buford:

Peter Drucker told me once, “There are two ways of teaching: the Greek way and the rabbinic way.” The Greek way, he explained, is based on analysis and breaking down a subject into its logical outline sequence (I A, B, C; II A, B, C). The rabbinic way always begins, “Let me tell you a story.” — Bob Buford

I took a graduate seminar in 1965 from a master historian, Douglas Adair…. He warned us about how hard it is to teach the American Revolution. …Here was his advice: teach biographies. Teach about the lives of people: why did they do what they did…. People remember a good story.

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New York public schools do not enforce discipline

David Roemer writes:

I was a teacher at three public high schools in New York City. Students got an excellent education at two (Edward R. Murrow and Midwood) and a poor education at one (Erasmus). The reason was that there is in NYC a two-tier system. At good schools high demands are made on teachers and students. At poor schools low demands are made on teachers and students. The following is testimony I gave about discipline in NYC public schools to the New York State agency governing public schools:

Read more: The Trouble with No Child Left Behind — Mises Economics Blog http://blog.mises.org/12283/the-trouble-with-no-child-left-behind/#comments#ixzz0j2uFiWAu

In his testimony, Roemer accuses the public schools of failing to maintain order by not suspending or expelling delinquent students (contrary to the State’s Discipline Code). After distinguishing between “two types of offenses: violent and non-violent” he states (my emphasis), “A school is disorderly because the administration is unwilling to prohibit non-violent misbehavior. Enforcing the rules of civility and decorum will immediately cause students who come to school only to fool around to stop coming to school. This type of student is one of the main sources of disorder and violence in lower-tier schools.

In other words,  non-violent misbehaviour not summarily or effectively dealt with by the school begets violent behaviour: The fault, as I have been saying, isn’t the “behavior of a small percentage of students” but the policy and practices of the Board of Education’s superintendents and principals… violence can be eliminated in schools by enforcing the various rules that require students to behave in a civil and mature manner.” This is exactly the point repeatedly made by a secondary school teacher in Britain who blogs at Scenes from the Battleground.

Roemer gives the specific example of students cutting class, and what one particular school  failed to do about it. After 80% of the faculty at a poorly performing school petitioned the Chancellor about lax discipline, the Chancellor’s response was “We are all committed to enforcing the discipline code so that our schools are conducive to learning.”

Roemer points out that “[t]here is a strong correlation between failing a course and the number of days absent from class”, then provides the evidence:

A computer printout of the names of students at Erasmus Hall High School who cut class in a two week period in May of 1994 shows that 1365 cut class at least 3 times. Since the average daily attendance is around 1500 this means that the overwhelming majority of students cut classes repeatedly, week after week… The extent of the administration’s response to cutting is to send a postcard to the child’s home. This means the burden of disciplining students who cut classes falls entirely on the parents of the child. This state of affairs is not consistent with the Discipline Code…

Roemer makes the issues at stake crystal clear (my emphasis). He points out that the rules necessary to maintaining discipline are already in place, but they need to be enforced; in addition, he explains why they are likely to work if they are enforced (my emphasis):

After repeated reprimands and counseling, a school should summon the parents for a disciplinary counseling session. Such a demand for a conference creates a family crisis…The family crisis a summons to school creates is one that enhances the parents’ standing with the child. The letter or summons means the child is in trouble with the school authorities. This places the child in the position of needing its parents to get him or her out of a predicament. If the parents refuse to go to school, they are giving the school its tacit approval to take what ever disciplinary action the school wants, for example, an out-of-school suspension.

The prospect and threat of suspension is a strong deterrent for cutting and will help children make the right decisions. Children want to be successful in school and know, or should know if they are being properly counseled, that cutting will diminish their chances for academic success. Students cut, nonetheless, because they are human beings and do not always follow their best inclinations and desires. Many are tempted to cut by the example and urgings of their peers.

…While disciplining a student for cutting, all members of the staff must be able to say truthfully that: “cutting is against the rules.” This does not mean that cutting is not recommended, it means precisely that a student who doesn’t obey this rule cannot attend school.

The whole thing is well worth reading. Roemer has prepared a very thorough testimony.

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Book Notes – The Shadow University (2)

Following on…

Catherine MacKinnon and Stanley Fish… are explicit in their disdain for the First Amendment‘s absolutist and noncontextual approach. In her influential book Only Words, MacKinnon, a feminist legal scholar at the University of Michigan, introduced her chapter “Equality and Speech” with the blunt statement that “the law of equality and the law of freedom of speech are on a collision course in this country.” (p. 76).  … MacKinnon noted that … Claiborne Hardware [v. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] brought the dichotomy between speech and action into the service of saving the nation’s oldest and best known civil rights organization. She claimed that it was unjust  to accord the two groups the same protection under the First Amendment, as properly interpreted. For MacKinnon, it was not problematic to define a principled basis for treating the NAACP and the Klan differently under the law: “Suppressed entirely in the piously evenhanded treatment of the Klan and the boycotters – the studied inability to tell the difference between oppressor and oppressed that passes for principled neutrality in this area as well as others- was the fact that the Klan was promoting inequality and the civil rights leaders were resisting it, in a country that is supposedly not constitutionally neutral on the subject.” As with Marcuse, the crucial distinction was between the “regressive” and the “progressive”. Stanley Fish’s attitude toward the current judicial interpretation of the First Amendment is refreshingly overt in the title of his 1994 book There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech… And It’s a Good Thing Too.(p. 77.)

Justice Felix Frankfurter, himself the member of a religious minority…recognized that the issue in the case [Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940] reflected the “profoundest problem confronting a democracy – the problem which Lincoln cast in a memorable dilemma: “Must a government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of its people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?” Posing the question that way virtually assured the answer that liberty was going to have to be compromised…. A mere three years after Gobitis… the Court reviewed another flag pledge case… and this time, by a vote of 6 to 3, even with America herself at war, the justices disavowed Gobitis. ….. In West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)… (w)riting for the majority, Justice Robert Jackson had not quarrel with West Virginia’s requirement that certain courses be taught, nor with its attempts to inspire patriotism by exposing students to national history and traditions. However, the board’s flag salute requirement was different, because it compelled a student “to declare a belief [and]… to utter what is not in his mind.”(p. 188.)

The Court now found that what underlay its decision in Gobitis – the supposed conflict between liberty of conscience and the state’s ability to survive – was both an exaggeration and a distraction from the core constitutional question. The issue was not weak or strong government, but see the strength of America in “individual freedom  of mind” rather than in “officially disciplined uniformity for which history indicates a disappointing and disastrous end.” … Jackson explained why even men of good intentions should not possess the awesome power to compel belief. Both the good and the evil had attempted “to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential.”… In short, Jackson wrote for the majority of the Court, “compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard…. the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.”(p. 189.)

I would amend that last sentence to read “The strength of America lay in her “individual freedom of mind”, and not in strong government; and that confusing the one with the other paved the way open (as it inevitably would) to overbearing and interfering government and eventually tyranny”. In a word, the road to serfdom.

“The purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution”, he concluded, was precisely to protect “from all official control” the domain that was “the sphere of intellect and spirit.” Barnette, not Gobitis, became the landmark, defining the constitutional and moral norms: the primacy of individual conscience over the social benefits of conformity, the need for each individual to enjoy liberty in order for a common liberty to exist, and the intolerability of restricting even one person’  liberty in “the sphere of intellect and spirit” in an attempt to create some better world. (p. 190.)

Colleges and universities have accepted a new “compensatory” version of separate but unequal. Whites obviously could not veto the presence of nonwhites in a college dormitory. Such inequality arises from the universities’ belief that its students are not individuals, but instances of blood and history. (p. 201.)

If one truly believes in the liberty of gay and lesbian students, of course, the real struggle is not for special privilege, but for equal rights. (p. 203.)

The academic mania for group identity presupposes what free individuals must decide for themselves – the nature and compound of their own individual lives. Blacks are free to be , by their own individual choices, radical, moderate, conservative, or apolitical; separatist or assimilationist; Afrocentric of South Carolinian. They do not need universities to assign them identities. (p. 204.)

On December 6, Robert Chatelle replied on the sexual-minority listserve of the National Writers Union, observing that “gay men are no more or less ‘vulnerable’ (or ‘sensitive’ of ‘artistic’) than any other class of citizens.” Indeed, Chatelle noted, Pearson “was engaging in negative stereotyping,” which, “ironically enough … is forbidden under the speech code she was defending.” “Scratch a defender of ‘political correctness’,” he observed, “and you’ll find some variety of bigot. For Chatelle, “defenders of ‘political correctness’ subscribe to two myths that are damaging to the rights of minorities: … vulnerability and .. interchangeability.” The “myth of vulnerability,” Chatelle observed, is based on the patronizing belief that “members of minority groups are so damaged by discrimination that we become incapable of speaking for ourselves… We are not. We want equal rights. But it is difficult to make that argument convincing when people like Sue Pearson are going around and stating that gay men are ‘vulnerable’ people who need ‘special’ protection.” The “myth of interchangeability,” for Chatelle, was equally dangerous. It “holds that there is such a thing as ‘the women’s viewpoint,’ the ‘gay/lesbian viewpoint,’ [or] the African-American viewpoint.'” (p. 205.)

This mentality, or the “myth of interchangeability”, sounds like polylogism, from which, perhaps, it originated: Marx and the Marxians, foremost among them the “proletarian philosopher” Dietzgen, taught that thought is determined by the thinker’s class position. What thinking produces is not truth but “ideologies.” This word means, in the context of Marxian philosophy, a disguise of the selfish interest of the social class to which the thinking individual is attached. It is therefore useless to discuss anything with people of another social class. Ideologies do not need to be refuted by discursive reasoning; they must be unmasked by denouncing the class position, the social background, of their authors. Thus Marxians do not discuss the merits of physical theories; they merely uncover the “bourgeois” origin of the physicists.

A perverted, but very common, form of this is hilariously illustrated by C.S. Lewis in his allegorical story, “The Pilgrim’s Regress“:  to refute the “argument” that two plus two equals four, the “correct refutation” is “You only say that because you are a mathematician!”

The assumption is that the identity of individuals at our universities is inseparable from those official categories that the university recognizes, quite independently of how such individuals view themselves. Diversity means the acceptance of those distinctions by blood and history. Multiculturalism means the acceptance of the view that individual students exist not as individuals, but as instances of group identity useful to some partisan  understanding of the history of oppression. (p. 206.)

To understand the moral consequence of academic official group identity, consider the appalling predicament of students from multiracial families. At Penn, in 1995, students formed an organization with the sardonic name “Check One”… [which] “takes its name from the fact that one is asked literally to check one race or ethnic group when filling out standardized forms… We are largely an ignored people, and segregation, which preserves and reinforces culture, can also serve to exclude us.” Members were not “half-and-half”… because they were not made up “of segmented parts… distant and separate pieces.” (p. 208.)

This resonated with me: in Japan, children of mixed marriages are dubbed “half”. I could never understand the American predilection for checking off one’s racial identity; what if you did not belong neatly into any of the categories offered? And why is it so important for the authorities to know?

At Standford, Carl Hicks, a Korean and black senior, formed, with other students uncomfortable with Standford’s official group identities, an organization called Prism. He understood the immoral and intended consequence of current academic multiculturalism and anti-individualism: “When I got to Standford I didn’t think of myself as black or Korean or white. I thought of myself as Carl Hicks. But everyone kept labeling me.” (p. 209.)

Out of the mouths of babes…

Attendance at group-identity organizations is often minuscule as a percentage of the intended population, and militant leaders complain endlessly about “apathy.” Whites don’t feel particularly guilty about being white, and almost no designated “victims” adopt truly radical politics. Most undergraduates unabashedly seek their portion of American freedom, legal equality, and bounty. What to do with such benighted students? Increasingly, the answer to that question is to use the in loco parentis apparatus of the university to reform their private consciences and minds. (p. 211.)

Penn [State University] simply set about to control the ways its students thought about and valued the world. It viewed incoming students as incapable, on their own, of sorting out their differences and their common humanity, of understanding how to live decently, and of thinking critically about America. Above all, the university viewed its students as ignorant of the real nature of their group identities. One student on the subcommittee on “Diversity Follow-Up Program” complained in a memo about the planners’ contempt for individualism and individual identity, their “desire… continually to consider the collective before the individual.”… A fellow committee member, an administrator, underlined the word “individual” on the student’s memo, and replied that “This is a ‘RED FLAG’ phrase today, which is considered by many to be RACIST.” “Arguments that champion the INDIVIDUAL over the group,” he informed her, “ultimately priveleges [sic] the ‘INDIVIDUAL’ belonging to the dominant group.” Indeed, he concluded, “in a pluralistic society, individuals are only as significant their groups.” (p. 213.)

There are core beliefs of current thought reform. An individual is not an autonomous moral being, but a member of a racial and historical group that possesses moral debt or credit. There is only on e appropriate set of views about race, gender, sexual preference, and culture, and holding an inappropriate belief, once truth has been offered, is not an intellectual disagreement, but a act of oppression or denial. (p. 215.)

Katherine Balmer, assistant dean for freshmen [at Columbia University], said, “You can’t bring all these people together and say, ‘Now be one big happy community,’ without some sort of training [ emphasis added]” (p. 218.)

Northwestern University, for the planning of its New Student Week in 1989, formed a Cultural Diversity Project Committee…  One pleased committee member told the reporter, “It’s basically a white guilt organization.” The next day, New Student Week began, and the keynote speaker informed fifteen hundred freshmen that there were not to blame for the “customs and habits of thought” inherited from their parents and communities, but that they now must remake their lives, ridding themselves of “the ugliness, the meanness, …[ the] narrowness and[the] tribalism.” Students then had to discuss the lecture, led by the “facilitators” who had been trained the day before. (p. 221.)

The shame is that it does not require deep courage to resist the sacrifice of liberty and legal equality for peace. There are nations in the world where a college president indeed would risk his life by standing up for academic freedom. That is not the situation in the United States today. What is required is not so much courage as dedication to liberty and legal equality supported by just a bit of backbone. The fact that our academic leaders are not up tot his task is alarming. The fear of disruption, of causing offense, of being associated with controversy, linked to careerism, has produced a hollow, unprincipled cowardice. (p. 329.)

And speaking of the Supreme Court’s upholding the First Amendment against the rising tide of political correctness, just one month ago,

Today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Citizens United v. FCC, voting 5-4 to stand by the Constitution and protect our First Amendment right to free speech. Justice Kennedy, writing for the Court, said, “We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.”

Penny Young Nance, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Chief Executive Officer, said, “The Court correctly concluded that judges should stop playing semantics with our Constitution and read the text as it is written. The government should not be limiting political speech because someone is rich or poor, or because they disagree with a particular point of view.”

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Book Notes – Deschooling Society (2)

Degree ceremony at the University of Oxford. T...
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Following on…

For most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school. ((From the introduction.)

the existence of the university is necessary to guarantee continued social criticism (p. 37)

The man addicted to being taught seeks his security in compulsive teaching. (p. 39)

once the self-taught man or woman has been discredited, all non-professional activity is rendered suspect. In school we are taught that valuable learning is the result of attendance; that the value of learning increases with input; and that this value can be measured and documented by grades and certificates. (p. 39)

School teaches [the myth that] instruction produces learning. The existence of school produces the demand for schooling. Once we have learned to need school, all our activities tend to take the shape of client relationships to other specialized institutions. (p. 39)

Knowledge … is conceived of as a commodity put on the market in school. (p. 47)

School makes alienation preparatory to life, thus depriving education of reality and work of creativity. (p. 47)

Knowledge is not a commodity which can be forced into the consumer. (p. 50)

[Schools should]

  • be convivial places which folk do not have to be convinced to use (p. 55)
  • move towards praxis (action) and away from poesis (making) (p. 62)
  • increase the opportunity and desirability of human interaction (p. 63)

Institutions men use without having to be institutionally convinced that it is to their advantage to do so… (p. 55)

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Book Notes – Deschooling society

Ivan Illich
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Here are some quotes from chapter 1 of  Ivan Illich‘s classic Deschooling Society, which I recently re-read. The quotes are sentences or ideas that caught my attention. They are not necessarily representative, either of the book itself, nor of Illich’s or my thinking; that is, you won’t get an objective summary of the book by reading these quotes.  (For a 1971 libertarian review of Illich’s book, click here). With that disclaimer out of the way, here we go.

Chapter 1: Why we must disestablish schools.

[Schools school students] to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, … the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.

… In these essays, I will show that the institutionalization of values leads inevitably to physical pollution, social polarization, and psychological impotence. … I will explain how this process of degradation is accelerated when non-material needs are transformed into demands for commodities; when health, education, personal mobility, welfare, or psychological healing are defined as the result of services or “treatments”.

The ideology of obligatory schooling admits of no logical limits. [Illich goes on to illustrate using as an example the proposal of]
Dr. Hutschnecker, the “psychiatrist” who treated Nixon before he was qualified as a candidate, recommended… that all children between 6 and 8 be professionally examined to ferret out those who have destructive tendencies, and that obligatory treatment be provided for them…. Indeed, preventive concentration camps for predelinquents would be a logical improvement over the school system.

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The Answer Sheet

Scenes from the Battleground‘s Twitter feed points me to this Washington Post article: The Answer Sheet – teaching without gimmicks.

Except for the misguided notion of targeting learning styles, none of these techniques is wrong in itself. But together they raise a barrier. Instead of bringing the subject closer to the students, this heap of tools proclaims: “No entrance! The subject is too hard without spelled-out skills, too boring without adornment, and too frustrating without pep talks and cheers!”  Worse still, such techniques take precedence over the lesson’s content. A literature teacher is evaluated not for her presentation of specific poems, but for stating the objectives, keeping all students “on task,” reminding them about the relation between hard work and success, using visuals and manipulatives, and, ultimately, raising the scores. It matters little, in such a system, whether the poem is excellent or trivial, what kind of insight the teacher brings, or what the students might take into their lives.

Solid good, yet uncommon, sense here. In its questioning of the value of “objectives”, it reminds me of something by a retired British teacher-trainer, James Atherton, Against Learning Objectives:

Some people manage to talk in the same breath about being “student-centred” and the need to have clear objectives (even behavioural objectives) for their teaching. They may even be arrogant enough to want to specify the “outcomes” of their teaching.

Formulation of objectives, particularly in its extreme form as “outcomes” is naive, objectionable and patronising.

Here’s an entry on Atherton’s blog, Recent Reflections, on the same subject: On the perfect lesson

Similar considerations apply to the evaluation of teaching sessions. Yes, there are clear(ish) thresholds below which practice fails to contribute to learning and may indeed inhibit it. But beyond that we can judge only very broadly. And that is where Ofsted inspectors and QAA reviewers (now of blighted memory) get it all wrong;

  • They tend to assume that the perfect lesson is the result of following a standard recipe (they deny it, of course, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary). For Blumenthal, it may be true. The “perfect chilli” is contained in his recipe. But there is no guarantee that the diner will like it. Technically, the system is defined too tightly, according to that which lends itself to measurement/judgement.
  • They assume therefore that the process of teaching (and learning) is a series of tableaux or set pieces, which can be judged independently. Were the lesson objectives spelt out at the start of the lesson? (Yes = good; No = bad.) Thus we inculcate ritual knowledge (Perkins, 1999) with no understanding of its significance. Are the experiential targets spelt out at the start of the opera? the stand-up routine? the liturgy?

And another one On Nostalgia:

I signed up for a Cambridge University Extension course on epistemology, but I missed the first session last week, unfortunately. We are a group of about sixteen people; I may be the youngest, and the oldest is clearly well into his eighties (I hope I am as acute, when/if I reach that age). We are also, sadly, entirely white and –I suppose almost by definition– middle class.
However, I got a course outline (two sides of A4) which specified a “syllabus” with “aims” and “content” but no “objectives”, a sheet of guidance for the essay (it was already clear that submission of the assessment was primarily to ensure the continued funding of the course by the university, and had little to do with assessment of learning, although one can apparently accumulate credits towards a certificate if so inclined), and a reading list.
The session was around two hours, with a coffee-break. The tutor lectured, with occasional questions and thought experiments directed at us, and occasionally (well, quite regularly) having to field spontaneous questions from “students”. He had a white-board, on which he wrote basic propositions, about three times. There were no handouts. There were no transparencies. There was no PowerPoint.
It was brilliant.

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