Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Favorite comments of '15, cont: momof4, Anonymous, lgm

On Lecture me--across the curriculum!

momof4 said...
I've always loved a good lecture, and it's a great way to cover a lot of material well and to enable good questions and discussions. However, much of the benefit requires students to be well-prepared; having done required readings and reviewed previous lecture notes (as needed for clarification and greater understanding) and to be diligent in attendance - and I'm given to understand that this is no longer common. It's also necessary to be able to take good, comprehensive notes - yes, by hand - and I think many kids lack the at-least-semi-cursive speed necessary (print tends to be too slow) and/or the ability to outline well - and both speed and organization are essential. I remember having at least 12-15 pages of outline notes (pretty small writing) for each 3-hr history class and almost that for sciences (or more if lots of diagrams).

I think it's likely that kids are not taught outlining any more and I guess teaching cursive has disappeared. My 5th-grade teacher taught us to outline, first with written material, then with short lectures. Notes were turned in, corrected and graded. This continued, with increasing frequency and complexity, through 8th grade. In HS, we were expected to be able to take appropriate notes on our own. This was especially true for college prep classes, but US history was all juniors together and passing meant taking decent notes. I think we're at the point where kids expect study guides, reviews etc - not just in HS but in college, to the point of not being able to do without such aids. The real world doesn't work that way.

Anonymous said...
momof4:

That is no longer the case. I've been a substitute for two years and what you wrote is how I was taught during my schooling in the 80's and 90's. I'm noticing there isn't any real instruction. In fact, there aren't any subjects being taught. And cursive writing, forget about it!! Hence, two generations of students have chicken scratch for penmanship, can barely read, and cannot retain anything beyond the last test/quiz.

momof4 said...
I was afraid of that. Sigh, again. Today, I talked with a 30ish and an ES teacher - the former was taught outlining, with practice, and the latter started her 4th-graders on it, with repetition and practice in MS, in her old state. Here, she said she doubts it - everything is CC and she says all the teachers hate it. You can't call it education anymore. invisibleserfscollar.com (she authored the book Credentialed to Destroy) has all of the ideological underpinnings.

lgm said...
One of my children was taught to take notes in grade 4, as the public school experimented with ways to get everyone to the 3 level on the listening portion of the state ELA test. The instruction was discarded after that year with the comment that it not an essential skill, nor could it be taught whole class as so many were not developmentally able to listen and write simultaneously, even if they did have the short term memory, penmanship, and sequencing ability. Full inclusion seems to mean eliminating anything that is viewed as college prep.

Anonymous said...
... while pretending that everyone should go to college and denying that cognitive ability has any relationship to academic achievement. In the real world, IQ is positively related to cognitive processing speed - a certain amount of which is necessary in order to listen to a lecture (or any lesson presented orally), understand, analyze, synthesize and commit it all to paper.

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