By requiring a man to behave mechanically, mass production domesticates him. By separating his activity from the total project, requiring no critical attitude toward production, it dehumanizes him. By excessively narrowing a man’s specialization, it constricts his horizons, making of him a passive, fearful, naïve being. from Paulo Freire’s ‘Education vs. Massification’
Prescriptive #education (i.e., public education) serves to distance learners and teachers alike from their social reality. The needs of individuals and communities are never given the time of day, as we mindlessly accept curriculum from the State. Rather than educating our students critically, we busy their minds with distractions that will ultimately prevent them from ever completely participating in an open society. Until education seeks to help learners analyze their worlds critically, we will all remain passive victims of a distant ruling class.
0044: We need conversations, not evaluations
#teacher #teaching #edchat
I was formally evaluated the other day and met expectations in every single area. For starters, that is bullshit. I have become fairly effective at what I do. I’m professional, I’m abreast current trends in educational research, I follow policy, and even do some advocacy work from time to time. I “have it together”. I’m a good classroom manager, that is, I seldom send kids to the office because I handle problems internally. Good for me. But, does this shining evaluation reflect beyond the fact that I am liked by my principal? The form is simple, all it requires the evaluator to do is circle or check certain competencies. So, I perform a dog and pony show that is a version of what happens everyday in my classroom. Again, I “know how to teach”. But, these evaluations don’t reflect what always goes on in class. It doesn’t reflect the struggle to teach when things go awry. It doesn’t reflect the struggle to get a single point across, much less have students retain something when several students decide they’re not going to learn today. And most important, it doesn’t reflect my internal struggle. I love teaching and I hate it. I want to quit, but I don’t know what else to do. I want to stay, but I could do other things. I’m not challenged fully, but my hands are full. I’m frustrated, and angry, and joyful, and disgruntled. I’m fighting a losing battle and loving it. Who asks about this stuff? Why aren’t these things a part of evaluation?
I’m not knocking a good evaluation. I just wonder why. And what if I wasn’t liked? Teachers and principals need to be more interlinked. There needs to be an ongoing discourse that brings up problems and solves them collaboratively. These evals are just an extension of the banking model of education that plagues our education system. We need intimate conversation, not distant evaluation.
0041: An Educator’s Guide: Learning to consume together! (Hey, what about creating together?)
#teaching #edchat #rebellion #consumer
Each day students awaken from their sweet dreams in their rich and peaceful 3 car garage homes in white neighborhoods and come to schools where their reveries can continue. Because of their natural privilege they are allowed to enter classrooms that have a marvelous curriculum of consumption. Fortunate students are blessed to “sit-and-get” knowledge each day that will allow them to perform well on their standardized tests. These standardized tests allow them to be given numeric values as human beings. Note: there is nothing more humanizing than a numeric value. These numeric values allow them to be properly sorted for better processing. It helps the schools decide how much remediation material to purchase. Luckily, almost everyone needs remediation materials of some sort. Numbered people need remediation. Usually these remedial people have strange behavior patterns that must be managed. They often squirm around and try to force their teacher-depositor to chase rabbits. The chasing of rabbits is strictly prohibited, as it distracts from what is truly important. If these remedial humans continue to chase rabbits, they can be remediated with medication. Then they will no long distract from what is important. Sometimes the teachers need remediation, especially if they insist on wasting time with discussing and reteaching material that was already consumed at its determined time on the pacing guide. These teachers usually learn to behave with a simple reprimand, but many of them need to be put on improvement plans. We must accept that the curriculum is designed and scheduled by someone who is an absolute expert. They specialize in curriculum mapping. They know the curriculum. That’s their only job. They don’t have time to waste with students and pesky misbehaving teachers. Sometimes, too, principals try to interfere with the process of organizing the numbered individuals, by defending certain practices that rebellious teachers implement. These rogue principals can usually be reprimanded, or relocated, or terminated. So, there’s no need to worry there.
It’s of the utmost importance that we as educator-depositors remember to avoid collaboration and discussion with our peers. We have consumers to groom. We must model, by properly swallowing each pill we are given. Lead by example, they say. And, we shall! Be a leader. Lead by following. We have consumers to groom.
Finally, we must remember that the task of creation should always go to someone else. This could also be said for collaboration. Education should not concern itself with creation or collaboration. Consumption is the goal. Otherwise, our economy will fail and we will have to rely on one another. How awful.