Bruce Deitrick Price's BLOG. Welcome.

Still running at the ed school cineplex: "John Dewey and the Effete Elite"

1) Main site is Improve-Education.org. Articles there are scholarly (in a lively way) and intended to last for years. This blog is for short newsy bits. 2) This site is pro-education, pro-teacher, and anti-Education Establishment. Basically, that's the professors who devise policy. They love social engineering. 3) Title of my fifth book is: "THE EDUCATION ENIGMA — What Happened To American Education.” On Amazon.

5/12/14

Superior Schools: Theories and Methods for Effective Education


Malkin Dare, the well-known Canadian education reformer, has a very important article on her site called “Ten Keys to Success: Fundamental Principles of Teaching.”

 This is everything you want to know to run a school or classroom in the traditional way. It’s everything you need to know to fight the destructive methods that progressives favor (because they are obsessed with social engineering rather than academic pursuits).

 But the article is over 3000 words and I didn't think enough people would read it thoroughly. So I asked Malkin Dare for permission to make a short version. She said: “Go for it.”

 So now my condensed version (under 1000 words) is on Examiner.com, with links to the original and some related material. The new title is: “Ten Stratagies for Successful Teaching.”

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The problem was I edited the title as I was posting the article and that seemed to confuse Examiner’s search tools. So I later posted a link to the short version on FreeRepublic, but someone there has a prejudice against Examiner, which as you’ll see is really a fine site. So now I'm promoting this article a third time.

If everyone concerned about education would read this article, we would see some magical progress.

 (I used a third title here because that increases the chance that people using Google will find it.)

 Here, to whet your appetite, are the topic sentences for Malkin Dare's ten strategies:


1: Almost all students can learn
2. Almost anything can be learned
3. There are almost no circumstances under which students can’t learn
4. Basic skills should be taught before higher-order skills
5. Factual knowledge is important
6. Hard work must be encouraged
7. Lessons should be clear and precise
8. New concepts should be practiced until they have been completely mastered
9. New concepts should be taught in sequence 
10. High student achievement is not dependent on lavish spending

 Please pass this on to every teacher (and parent) you know. 
These strategies are, by the way, the perfect antidote for every goofy idea contained in Common Core.
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Examiner linkhttp://www.examiner.com/article/ten-stratagies-for-successful-teaching?cid=db_articles

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5/2/14

Common Core: dirty rotten scoundrels

Common Core cycles forward all the worst ideas of the last 75 years. In particular, Common Core promotes Whole Language, various kinds of Reform Math, Constructivism, and all the other gimmicks.

 But which is its dirtiest trick? This article in American Thinker (link below) argues that the sickest aspect of Common Core is that the math homework, the math instructional methods generally, divide parents from children. Only scoundrels could come up with this stuff.

The basic gambit is to teach math in a way very different from what the parents know about or can understand. We first saw this nonsense in the 1960s under the rubric of New Math. The country ridiculed this approach and rejected it. But the education professors had shown their hand. Whenever possible, they would figure out a way to teach something (anything) in a way that was alien and mysterious to the parents. The goal seemed to be to drive a huge wedge between the generations.

 This works particularly well in math. Math is often a complex subject. The ordinary parent has probably not gone very far in math. So you can throw something weird at them, and they'll be intimidated. They barely remember the old arithmetic they learned 10 or 20 years before. But here is something new coming from the school that makes no sense at all. What to do?

Imagine this scenario happening a billion times each year. That's probably an accurate figure

The child comes home with an instructional sheet from the school. The parent glances at it and can't understand it. So now the parent is sitting there feeling stupid. The kid is watching and wondering what's going on. Maybe his parents aren't so bright after all. The parent can complain to the school and look small-minded. The parent can try to figure out the material and teach it to the child. But this is exhausting and takes a lot of time.

Besides, the parent senses that a trick is being played. Just look, here's a way to multiply numbers that takes twice as long as the way we learned!!

 Well, at this point, you need confident parents who are willing to scream: you people are Pavlovian phonies and we're not going to take it anymore.

We see this wonderful phenomenon on a Facebook page called "Parents Against Everyday Math." For the record, Everyday Math is just one of a dozen kinds of Reform Math. It just happens to be the most common variety. Parents come to this site to leave their horror stories about homework they couldn't understand. Nor could they help their children to do it.

 This has been a pattern for many decades: parents bitching and moaning about math instruction, particularly math homework. Fifty years ago and before, the children bitched and moaned. That's the way it's supposed to be, because they are the students. 

The idea that parents cannot do homework intended for seven-year-olds is just so counterintuitive, just so crazy, that the average parent cannot get their brain around it. Nor should they have to try.

The parents need to look in the mirror and say these words: The school is disrespecting me. They are trying to make me look bad in the eyes of my children. They are dumbing down my children. A lot of overpaid people are spending their careers dreaming up stuff that will make my life worse and will weaken the country. I don't want to put up with this anymore. I want to find the people who okayed this bogus method, and get them demoted.

 Saxon Math is better than Reform Math. Any halfway sensible approach to arithmetic is better than Reform Math.

 I wrote an article a few years back arguing that you could teach first-graders everything they need to know about arithmetic with a handful of coins and a few dollar bills. At the end of the year they will know how to make change on any small purchase. They'll be able to add and subtract any one or two digit numbers. And a big reason why all that progress is possible is that virtually any parent can help them with their homework.


COMMON CORE'S DIRTIEST TRICK: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/common_cores_dirtiest_trick_dividing_parents_and_children.html


FIRST-GRADE MATH ARTICLE: http://brucedprice.hubpages.com/hub/PricesEasyArithmetic

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Improve-Education.org is The Answer

Find out what ails American education on Improve-Education.org.
Main site: Improve-Education.org (Now up to 105,000 words and growing. Newest article: "50: Leading Boys To Reading")
Fun on YouTube...I have 50+ graphic videos on YouTube. Educational and entertaining, often. Many deal with reading and educational strategies. Many have good music and need some volume. (Channel is: YouTube.com/BruceDeitrickPrice)
COMMENTS don't seem to work on this design. Here's a link to CONTACT page on Improve-Education.org

About Me

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Remain a novelist, artist, poet, and art director.
But main activity is writing about education reform (always with full name, Bruce Deitrick Price). The schools, now bad due to ideology and laziness, could be easily improved.
I invite everyone to join my crusade or start your own. The worst thing is letting the Education Establishment continue its reign of incompetence.
Visit Improve-Education.org. (Or Google Bruce Deitrick Price and any education topic; you'll probably find some interesting articles. I have 300 ed articles, videos, and book reviews on web. Please use them in your own battles.)    

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