Wednesday, March 03, 2010

One of the reasons we homeschool

Jay Mathews has a column titled Training teachers like ice skaters. A main point is that society currently does a poor job of training teachers. Jay writes:

People trained in very complex skills, such ice skaters, chess players, violinists, quarterbacks or surgeons, often do something called deliberate practice.

And then he quotes Mike Goldstein:

"A kid who practices 10 hours playing sloppy pick up basketball with his friends might develop less than a kid who has a focused two hours of practice with measurable, highly specific, small chunk feedback," Goldstein told me in a long email. "Similarly, a rookie teacher who simply student teaches or acts as an assistant teacher might simply be repeating the WRONG moves.
"Deliberate practice means (1) specific & technique-oriented, (2) high-repetition, and (3) paired with immediate feedback which includes telling the novice what to do."That's what we do: 'Do X. Now you say it, right in front of me. Tone needs to be firm: do it again.' High dosage feedback, after every day of student teaching. And feedback that is directive. Don't say 'Here's 5 different ways you could try.' Cut through that.
"This is labor-intensive but, we think, has big payoff."


The same principle translates into how we train children. I argue that the current public school approach of the factory model is similar to how teachers are taught. Topics and knowledge is thrown at the students in a variety of ways, constantly changing with the latest fad.

As homeschooling parents we can be more directive and make sure our children really learn the material.

(Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs)

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, public school, public education, education


Carrie- The Homeschool Regel said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I just started homeschooling my 7th grade son and am finding that with every step forward, I need to take at least three backward. He has been cranking through "schoolwork" without getting meaning from it and does not know how to "learn."

I am thankful I can homeschool because I know the teachers have a real dilemma on their hands. They are being pushed from every side, from state standards to individual IEPs to their own unique teaching style. How can they meet each child individually? The best they can hope for is to teach to the masses and pray a majority "gets" it.

Henry Cate said...

I am glad you found this information useful. Good luck in homeschooling your son. Just take it easy at the beginning.