I quickly realized that this blog can be much more. I hope to share my research, my triumphs and failures in and out of the classroom, and my thoughts on education with not only my friends but with my students and peers.
With that said...
We've recently been discussing the creation of this country we call the United States. In class we've covered the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all of those oh-so important "facts" which act as the very foundation for the study of U.S. History. Howard Zinn might have said it best in "A People's History":
"There is a certain drumbeat of scolding one hears these days, about the need for students to learn facts. 'Our young people are not being taught facts,' said presidential candidate Robert Dole (and candidates are always so scrupulous about facts)...But there is no such thing as a pure fact...Behind every fact presented to the world-by a teacher, a writer, anyone-is a judgment. The judgment that has been made is that this fact is important, and that other facts, omitted, are not important."
It makes me feel so disappointed in the California Standards for Education. How any group of people can think for others, to create an educational system that is centered on the acquisition of these "facts", is beyond my understanding. The students of today are drowned in standardized testing and forced to perform in order to succeed. In all my years of standardized testing, I have not retained any of the so-called "factual" information that was asked of me.
True, authentic learning experiences are only created when we can step away from knowledge acquisition and move to an arena where we can all search for answers ourselves. It is my goal to create this environment and move towards the discovery of the omitted, the invisible, the oppressed and the hidden.