Originally Posted by newmom22
Interestingly, you are very judgmental of educational theory
This is a serious misreading. I am not judgmental of all educational theory as a whole. I am very judgmental of unproven
educational theory that is based on insufficient research, not intended for use in the classroom, and generally ineffective as an educational method.
and I think you are wrong to dismiss those of us who appreciate the Science behind it (regardless of whether it is qualitative or quantitative) as insincere.
Again, I am afraid you have misread my statements. Please quote precisely where I dismissed anyone as insincere, actually, much less people who appreciate the science behind educational theory. Indeed, if you consult what I said earlier regarding Gardner, you'll see that I distrust and dislike his theory precisely because
it is bad science, and moreover, gave you the benefit of the doubt precisely for
|The thing is you have to have something to cling to in this job, just like parenting, or you are no more effective then a sail flapping in the wind. Without any sort of rigging to steer you (general you) in some direction you will become paralyzed with analysis paralysis and your students will suffer without leadership. I think any teacher who questions philosophy and teaching methodology is taking a step in the right direction! We all try out new styles and toss the ones that don’t work for us. No one is suggesting that one is better then another. To each his or her own...
suggest that one is better than another. Although I certainly agree that no one method works with all students all the time, there is a substantial body of research to demonstrate that some techniques work well most of the time and others do not. Therefore, logically, one definitely IS better than another for the majority.
Again, to yank this discussion back on topic here, I do have the feeling that you mean what you say and that you're a conscientious teacher who cares about her students, but with all due respect, what concerns me greatly about the hypothetical gifted student in your inclusive classroom is that you're not providing this student with actual challenge to improve and stretch his skills or teaching him new things. I apologize for being blunt here, but you're really not
, at least in the data you gave me.
For what it's worth, I think most teachers would and do respond as you did, and also for what it's worth, I think it's very difficult for many teachers to have a HG or PG kid in their class because that child is so different from the norm that the teacher's having to scramble around looking for what amounts to an entirely different curriculum for them. However, speaking as a parent here, the centers-and-games solutions you're proposing really wouldn't teach anything new
. Yes, you'd have them teaching others and -- to slide in some edspeak here -- metacognitively reflecting on their own learning process, but that doesn't actually teach them new content
. It doesn't give them anything new to read, any new math concept to learn, any new writing skill to practice. Bottom line, you'd have them learn better what they already know. Very sorry, but that only goes so far so long.
Post script: I have a very strong objection to using gifted children as peer tutors. For one, they're not union.
For another, and more seriously, the research demonstrates abundantly that this solution only works for children who are advanced or mildly gifted -- one step ahead of their classmates. The classmates perceive the advanced student's achievement as a realizable goal and don't feel patronized, and the advanced student really does clarify their understanding of a concept. However, with the HG or PG student, the struggling student feels talked down to and "stupid," while the HG student feels penalized for learning fast and then socially excluded otherwise.
Again, this is said with all due respect to you. I have no doubt that for the vast majority of the students in your class, you're a great teacher.