Read this article, and understand that in large swaths of the country, you are seeing the future. It will not be everywhere by a long shot … but as one of the comments noted: 50 years after Sputnik, we have now traveled full circle.
A middle school in Florida examined testing data and showed that they get better test scores in science when they eliminated hands on activities and replace them with teacher demonstrations, video learning and other non-engaging modes of learning. In the name of higher test scores and salaries, schools are completely turning kids off to the realities of science.
My favorite quote is from the school’s science department chair:
Kids can see the lowest density rises,” Loumanis said. “If the kids did the lab, it would take longer and it would be a mess.
1. Yes … goodness forbid things get messy in a science class! How horrible!! Perhaps next we can have PE that avoids sweating because that’s both messy and stinky!
2. Excellent use of poor logic …. because it might save some time to introduce a simple idea like density with a demo, that doesn’t mean the near elimination of hands on experiments.
This article highlights the very worst things about the last ten years in American education:
1. Test scores are everything.
2. Teachers will be held accountable for those test scores. Please note: they are not being held accountable for educating kids … just the test scores … and those aren’t even close to being the same thing.
3. Enthusiasm for learning … actually learning things that can’t easily be tested for on multiple choice tests (things like analysis, measuring, higher level thinking, etc) are things that are no longer considered important in education.
4. In the midst of a huge push for school and teacher accountability, there is a loud call for charter schools and private school vouchers … the two kinds of schools that have no public accountability whatsoever. Their only accountability is if the parents get what they want.
I cannot comment further much on this without risking a stroke … please read the article … I cannot fathom that this idiotic approach to turning kids off to education in the name of higher test scores is being sanctioned in any American school.