The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149313   Message #3474246
Posted By: GUEST,A Regular
01-Feb-13 - 03:56 AM
Thread Name: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
Subject: RE: BS: Death Trap Schoolrooms
1) An initial purpose of education (at least in Canada) was to instill a certain obedience in the general population. Check out the writings of Egerton Ryerson who became superintendent of schools in Upper Canada (Ontario)--so named because it is geographically higher or more elevated than Lower Canada (Quebec). In time the savage beast doth bear the yoke. However, his innovations were important in terms of present-day schools for a few reasons, not all good by today's standards.

"His study of educational systems elsewhere in the Western world led to three School Acts, which would revolutionize education in Canada. His major innovations included libraries in every school, an educational journal and professional development conventions for teachers, a central textbook press using Canadian authors, and securing land grants for universities.

Ryerson's legacy within Canada's education system also included the hand he played in the implementation of the controversial Canadian residential school system. It was his study of Native education commissioned in 1847 by the Assistant Superintendent General of Indian Affairs that would become the model upon which Residential Schools were built." (from Wikipedia--it's accurate, imo)

2) Education got sucked in to the 'business model' of education. It was a failure in New Zealand, England and the US but by golly Canada had to try it, too. And we did. It is still failing as is the 'no child left behind' policy in many US states. Education is not business in any sense of the terms.

3) Home schooling is a good option for some people but not for all people. It fails often because parents are not able to provide the necessary instruction to the child and things like mastery learning provide only short-term gains for most children. The remark earlier about fundamentalists is accurate. School districts along with some home schoolers often abrogate their legal responsibilities in regard to home-schooled children and failure becomes an easy option for the child. One or two visits a year from school district representatives just doesn't ensure that education is taking place in the home. I hazard that if you actually looked into the state of home schooling in most developed countries you'd see quickly that it is a poor option for too many kids and families.

4) In general, education propagates its methods and teaching techniques. WTF does THAT mean? Teachers tend to learn through chalk/talk techniques, so when they go forth to teach how do they do it? Right, chalk/talk. Despite knowing through the literature (Bloom, Krathwhol, Gardner) that effective teaching/learning takes place via a variety of techniques, the successful stuff is not generally accepted by education institutions because they do not have the ability to fund those techniques and allow them to become standard teaching practice in schools. Good teachers do it but at much cost to themselves and their own lives.

As for Death Trap Schoolrooms--that is an interesting title. Three scenarios come to mind although I'll mention just two that have been addressed already because I see no point giving bad ideas to bad people:

a) Fire
b) Person or persons with weapons

No building is by itself a firetrap until such time as it is actually on fire. (I know that sounds nuts, but it is the way the law in most places reads.) No classroom is a death trap until something begins to cause death, be that fire or people with weapons of some sort. I have been in a number of schools in various places and as a general rule it would take a medium-sized platoon per floor to secure most school buildings, and that doesn't address snipers who could be hundreds of yards away and harm children/staff with little immediate danger to themselves. Face facts: if arms are the problem to begin with, what makes you think they can also be the solution? I think it is both foolish and stupid to engage in talk with the NRA or organizations of that nature. They lie about their membership and rely on the adage "if you can't beat them with brains then baffle them with bullshit" and guess what folks? It's working.

Anyway, that's it from me for the mo. Have a good day.