Friday, December 19, 2008

Coaching and Teaching Pt. 3

There is a problem, educators and administrators tend to gravitate to theories of education that are theoretical and untested. This may affect nearly all of my suggestions, my approach is more experimental - Use the techniques and methods that have proven themselves to get results, not the techniques you think should get results.

This doesn't imply that we can't experiment with new techniques, rather it is saying that the techniques that are to be standardized should be those that have been tested experimentally in similar circumstances and have proven to give good results.

Another issue is National standardization of pedagogy. Like I have said before, much of teaching as it is currently practiced is trial and error. Simply because different school districts or different states approach education differently doesn't mean they are all equal, or give equal results. Some techniques, strategies, tactics, work better than others. It would be irresponsible to use the concept of academic freedom as an excuse not to use techniques, strategies, and tactics that have proven to get results.

I routinely sit in on other teachers classrooms, not because they are perfect, but because I may learn a technique, strategy, concept, or tactic that is effective and that I can use in my own classroom. I sign myself up for SAT and study skills classes, so I can learn different strategies and incorporate them into my system.

Another method that can be used in education is that of focus groups. Instead of testing different advertisements on the students, test different teaching styles and methodologies, and find out which ones the students like the most AND gets good results.

There should be some flexibility built into the standardization to take into account differences in school districts. For example different approaches may be needed for urban, suburban, and rural schools. Maybe a different system of categorization is needed, but as long as the best practices are standardized I think it will greatly benefit education.

More later

John G.


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