Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cute or morally bankrupt?

I suppose at first glance someone might think this video is cute.

I don't.

And if you know anything about how our obsession with testing is squeezing the intellectual life out of our schools, then I bet you don't find this cute, either.

As a parent of two young children, and a teacher of 13 years, I find this video intellectually indefensible and morally bankrupt.

Alfie Kohn summarizes my distaste for this video:
It drives me nuts when I see schools offer stress coping strategies - we'll give you a hand parents and kids at putting up with the stuff we are forcing your kids to do that has no justification. In other words, it's like a factory that's pumping pollutants into the air but is happy to distribute respirators to the neighbours. We need to shut off the pollution at it's source.
For those that think this is just kids having fun, and that I just need to lighten up, keep in mind that this is what they look like when they get older.

1 comment:

  1. Joe: I think what disturbs me most is that we have to get kids psyched up for testing. That testing provides so much stress that we have to "destress" the situation. Since when should learning be stressful? Only when tests are attached to it. Is it the kids that are stressed or is it the teachers? Yes, it is cute. Yes, it is clever, but the underlying premise is that in order to save our schools or save teachers' hides, we have to make testing "fun" in order for kids to take it seriously. It's just one more frustration of state testing. Yes, we want to know that they are learning but there are so many other ways of doing that besides a test.


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