Monday, April 04, 2005

Namby-Pamby Education

It just gets worse and worse, this namby-pamby touchy-feely approach to professional "education" of the next generation.

The color Red is on the outs for grading papers, because it's too unpleasant.
At Daniels Farm Elementary School in Trumbull, Conn., Karwoski's teachers grade papers by giving examples of better answers for those students who make mistakes. But that approach meant the kids often found their work covered in red, the color that teachers long have used to grade work.

Parents objected. Red writing, they said, was "stressful." The principal said teachers were just giving constructive advice and the color of ink used to convey that message should not matter. But some parents could not let it go.

So the school put red on the blacklist. Blue and other colors are in.
Why even grade at all then? I mean, it's just so upsetting to point out errors, isn't it, so why stop there?
The disillusionment with red is part of broader shift in grading, said Vanessa Powell, a fifth-grade teacher at Snowshoe Elementary School in Wasilla, Alaska.

"It's taken a turn from 'Here's what you need to improve on' to 'Here's what you've done right,'" Powell said.
Oh. I see. They're already way ahead of me.
He has instructed his teachers to grade with colors featuring more "pleasant-feeling tones" so that their instructional messages do not come across as derogatory or demeaning.

"The color is everything," said Foriska, an educator for 31 years.
You hear that? In the process of educating, it's the COLOR that is EVERYTHING!

Gee, I thought it was about getting your facts and figures straight.
At Public School 188 in Manhattan, 25-year-old teacher Justin Kazmark grades with purple, which has emerged as a new color of choice for many educators, pen manufacturers confirm.

"My generation was brought up on right or wrong with no in between, and red was always in your face," Kazmark said.
Well, so much for concepts of "right" and "wrong" when it comes to teaching facts! More important is how everyone "feels" about themselves.
"It's abrasive to me. Purple is just a little bit more gentle. Part of my job is to be attuned to what kids respond to, and red is not one of those colors."
No, your job is to teach the little urchins how to read, write, and figure, rather than being their non-abrasive buddy.

In the very last paragraph, a ray of hope:
"I don't think changing to purple or green will make a huge difference if the teaching doesn't go along with it," Jones said. "If you're just looking at avoiding the color red, the students might not be as frightened, but they won't be better writers."

But look out, Jones, the Board and a horde of angry parents are going to be picketing your classroom soon until you get more "sensitive".

We need excuses like the color of graded papers to explain why little Jimmy is failing at school, rather than face the unpleasant fact he may either be naturally dim; or worse, is lacking in direction and support at home from "parents" too self-absorbed to actually attend to the job of parenting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Jones? :)

7:11 PM, April 04, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home