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Not Which Standards, but Whose Standards


A Famous Quote From Ted Sizer

I listened to Ted Sizer reply to a supporter of national standards at a meeting several years ago, “It’s not which standards, and it is whose standards!”

Who gets to sit at the table are representatives of all the conventional academic subjects. When have standards committees involved working artists, journalists, web designers, or doctors who might critique the effectiveness or inadequacy of traditional content standards? When have professors of bioethics, anthropology, or law been asked to critique content standards? Instead, the people who care most about their little corner of the traditional content world say that it is necessary.

When I did the training as part of a standards-writing project in a big eastern state, I cited the problem of arcane elements in the history standards, specifically mention of an unknown Chinese dynasty. A gentleman voiced out, “But that was my thesis topic, and it is essential for students to know!”

Here are some writing standards you should know about:

Having worked with three different states on their standards writing and revision method, I can say with certainty that the way we establish standards-based work at the state and national levels ruins it from the start. The committees indicate typical people with typical backgrounds in education, charged to tinker with, but not fundamentally overhaul, typical schooling; no criteria for choices are ever put forward to clear the document of pet topics. Briefly, these committees simply rearrange the furniture of the traditional core content areas; they imitate the past that they feel comfortable with rather than face the future that is on its bothersome but inevitable way.

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For proof of the dearth of forward-thinking, look at the Common Core math standards. The proposed high school mathematics is untouched from when I was a kid in prep school 45 years ago: four years of traditional topics in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. The only progress is more emphasis on modelling and statistics. But the setting out of the standards in isolated lists of content (as contradicted to recapping the kinds of performance standards student work must meet) weakens the probability of crucial change to make mathematics more likeable and useful to the majority of students.

Think about this depressing summary of a high school strand from the Common Core of the Trigonometric Functions which are as follows:

  • Expand the field of trigonometric functions using the unit circle.
  • Model periodic phenomena with trigonometric functions.
  • Establish and use trigonometric identities.

This is a standard. It nearly goes without saying, but in current myopia, it needs to be said that only a few people need to know this kind of things as it is rarely needed in the most basic jobs and still used seldom in complicated ones.

The point of all of this is that with the current global competition in the working world, and financial crisis never waning, the wisest thing the ministry of education has offered are compressed programmes focusing on the basic and practical areas of life, that is the diploma studies.

Jika anda sedang mencari kursus jangka pendek, anda boleh memohon di mana-mana kolej di Malaysia.

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