On Processing Sandy
I think that classroom use of a good art DVD series, with appropriate classwork would be a better use of time, particularly for kids who are academically behind. For kids in cities, by 7th grade, they can and should be encouraged to visit local cultural/government/historical site on their own time - writing a report/answering questions on same could be extra credit.
Which then ties into the studies that show having ineffective teachers two years in a row is disastrous for kids, with literally a lifetime of consequences.
No drill-and-kill, because it's boring.
No long periods of concentration, because (come on!) the kids can't handle that; not when they're used to flashing lights, loud noises, and fast visuals. Asking them to actually focus, and working to develop their attention spans and concentration is just boring!
No chalk and talk, because some studies of high school science students show that they learn science better with hands-on experiments; therefore, it must also be true of all other skills, from basic phonics to art history. And besides, lectures are boring!
No corrections on homework and no revisions required, because the kids' tender feelings can't handle criticism and they have a panic attack at the sight of red pen marks on their papers. Besides, revisions are so boring!
Everything about school these days seems to be exactly structured to *not* teach or to *not* allow kids to actually learn anything.