Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sounds like what many homeschoolers are doing

Students in charge of own education reports on a "new" approach to public education:

The school's four subject teachers and principal have undertaken education reform that gives students as much time as they need to learn, eliminates the point-earning model for homework and tests, and has turned student incentives on their head.
It's the kind of culture-changing reform that proponents of the "proficiency model" hope that national leaders are referring to when they talk about overhauling the American education system.
The proficiency model is a main theme in Oregon's application for Race to the Top, a national competition for federal stimulus money that has been called the centerpiece of the Obama administration's education reform efforts.
"It's changing the concept of school from 'here's what you have to know, you get it or you don't get it and we're moving on anyway,'" said Susanne Daggett, an education specialist with the state department of education.


Starting in the mid and late 1800s the states took over education, step by step, they exercised more control. Public schools in America were largely modeled after the Prussian factory approach. It was more efficient to put thirty children in a room and teach them all the same thing, at the same time and in the same way. It didn't matter if the students weren't interested, weren't ready or already knew the material.

I know many homeschoolers who frequently point out this flaw in the dominate public school approach today.

In many ways the trial in Oregon is not a "new" approach, but returning back to what we did before. Back at a time when the literacy rate was higher than it is today. It used to be that children were lumped together according to their abilities and not by age. Some children would move faster, others would take longer. The traditional one room school had one teacher helping children across a variety of ages, each children progressing as best they could.

I’m glad the students at this school in Oregon are getting a chance to go at their own pace, whither it is fast or slow, but this isn’t a new approach.

(Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs)

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


Worksheet Factory said...

Great post! Thank you!

Henry Cate said...

You are welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it.