Friday, March 09, 2007

Teach as I say, not as I do

Since June 2005, I have been working toward my Masters in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) through Chapman University. In January, I completed my final class; now all I have left to receive my M.A. is a comprehensive exam that I am scheduled to take this month on the 31st.

During this entire experience - both in Chapman's teacher credential program and their Masters program - I have been bombarded with the typical progressive education bromides about higher-level thinking, "learning to learn", authentic assessment, the evils of "rote memorization", and the belief that it is more important that one be able to find information rather than memorize it because "information is always changing". For a refresher on what Chapman University considers to be an effective educator, check out this travesty of a poster about which I have previously blogged.

Imagine my amusement when I opened up the instructions and study guide for my exam, both of which are provided by Chapman. A passage that caught my eye was this:
Candidates may not use any reference materials during the examination - e.g., notes, books. (Emphasis theirs)
Additionally, another passage says this:
When making a statement, the student must support the statement by known facts and appropriate citing of sources.
What?! You mean by rote memory? You mean they want me to regurge and cite information to them without looking it up first?

Don't misunderstand me; I'm not complaining about the format of the test. It is as it should be. What has me waxing indignant is that these pin-headed academics are using some of the very same assessment techniques on us that they tell us are verboten to use in our classrooms. Why aren't we just doing some portfolio - an "authentic assessment" as they call it - of our work that we have done over the course of the program? That's what they have recommended we do with our students. This is prima facie evidence that "progressive" educators are either as dumb as a sack of hammers, or they really don't believe their own b.s. that they sling in their graduate lessons... or both.

Good Day to You, Sir


George said...

Yes . . . could you imagine a college professors evaluating 100 portfolios with rubrics over his weekend? Yeah right! Better yet, they would have us use peer review for that kind of assessment.

Oh, and did your professors differentiate their instruction based upon assessment results, previous grades and performance, and the assumption of culture by skin color?

Imagine . . . all of this written by a visual learner.

Tia said...

Another non-sequitor:

ANSWER is having an anti-war rally on Sunday March 18. They are meeting at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco at 12.00, then marching to Civic Center.

International ANSWER is a fake peace movement. They support:
* North Korea- a dictatorial regime that deprieves its people of basic civil rights
* Hezbollah and Hamas- radical Islamic terrorist organizations

ANSWER tolerates offensive anti-Semitic imagery at their events, and opposes international intervention to stop the genocide in Darfur.

As always, there will be an anti-idiotarian group group standing opposed to ANSWER.


Stand with Us Stand for Peace Stand with Israel
Sunday, March 18th
11:30AM to 1PM
Justin Herman Plaza (foot of Market St. at the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco)


StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel will be standing up for Israel and reminding people not only that the Iraq War is not about Israel but also that Israel has a right to exist and to live free from terror attacks and threats of destruction. We will be educating people about A.N.S.W.E.R.’s agenda and we will be providing an alternate, pro-Israel voice for both the media and the community at large.

Please remember that StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel takes no position on the war in Iraq.

Please join us, if you can and foward widely.
There are low cost buses coming from Sacramento to the rally. E-mail me if you need details
tiatziona (at)


Darren said...

You almost sound surprised about the format of the test, or that there might be some inconsistencies between what they say and what they do. Don't forget, it's still a School of Education.

Chanman said...

Not surprised, just resigned :(