Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex: What’s Wrong With Education and How to Fix Some of It by Doug Green

17. Good Luck Learning a Foreign Language in American Schools

  • In addition to waiting until students are too old to learn another language with ease, schools also lack context and immersion opportunities and students usually lack motivation. It’s clear that what we are doing is ineffective and inefficient.

18. The Arts: One More Victim of Common Core Testing

  • Due to the high-stakes testing, subjects like art are cut way back or eliminated altogether in some schools. Teaching art is one way to foster creativity and businesses tell us they want to hire creative people. These are the same people who push the tests that assure that schools will offer very few opportunities for students to be creative.

19. Teachers/Parents: Don’t Run Away from Discussing Porn

  • Like it or not, most students today get their real sex education by watching porn on the internet as schools and parents, for the most part, look the other way. It’s time for conversations to take place on both fronts. Boys should ask permission rather than forgiveness and take no for an answer the first time. They should be concerned with making any loving experience pleasurable for their girlfriends. Doug covers subjects like revenge porn, the dangers of some practices like bondage and anal sex, and suggests that parents not shame or punish their children for viewing such material as it’s fairly normal.

20. It’s Time For An Assessment Revolution: Give Students Access To The Internet In Exams And Scrap Traditional Grades

  • If you want to make students career ready, why not let them use the tools they will use on the job as part of student assessments? There are also many innovative teachers getting rid of grades and replacing them with badges and portfolios. If home-schooled students can get into college without grades, so can students from public schools.

21. Why Would Anyone Let Their Kid Play Football or Anything Else?

  • As more and more evidence comes in on the hazards of playing football to your brain and body, more parents are not allowing their boys to play. This is good news. Doug also looks at other sports and suggests which ones are relatively safer and which you can do after high school.

22. Bathrooms and Locker Rooms: A New Battlefield

  • The battle to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms may be coming to a school near you. Doug suggests that schools try to increase privacy for all students with single user stalls for toilets and showers. This also gets away from adults supervising naked students, which comes with its own problems.

23. How Do We Know That Today’s Standardized Tests Are Harmful?

  • Here are the main points from two books that take on the people who push these tests and the corporations who make them. The books are The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do by Phillip Harris, Bruce M. Smith, and Joan Harris and Rethinking Value-Added Models in Education: Critical Perspective on Tests and Assessment-Based Accountability by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley. If you want to fight test-based accountability, here is some serious ammunition.

24. If Education Is Going To Improve, We Must Work On Improving Initial Teacher Training

  • In Finland, education majors spend a one-year internship working in schools and have to finish a research-based masters before they teach. In the US, some students do as little as ten weeks of student teaching and only a week or so flying solo in a classroom. While there are encouraging innovations happening in some schools, few education professors have ever tried them with a real class. The one place where we really need to raise the bar is in teacher education.
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