AUSTRALIAN EDUCATOR: COMPUTERS IN THE CLASSROOM A SCANDALOUS WASTEApril 6, 2016
It's been a while since I've ranted and raved about the deplorable state of education in the USSA and its subservient allies, so I am going to have to do so today, thanks to an article shared by Ms. D.O. In this case, my rant is really someone else's rant, and his rant came from Australia, which like many other countries in the west, as been suffering the American disease: standardized tests without end, corporate favoritism for the corporations providing the tests and "texts", and a war on the student-teacher-parent relationship, i.e., a war on the human element.
Here's the core of the argument, and I'm conflating several paragraphs together so that you can see that the same in is happening in Australia as is happening in the USSA, for those lucky enough to be able to afford sending their children to such schools:
The headmaster of Sydney Grammar School, John Vallance, yesterday described the billions of dollars spent on computers in Australian schools over the past seven years as a “scandalous waste of money’’.
“I’ve seen so many schools with limited budgets spending a disproportionate amount of their money on technology that doesn’t really bring any measurable, or non-measurable, benefits,’’ he said.
“Schools have spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on interactive whiteboards, digital projectors, and now they’re all being jettisoned.’’
Sydney Grammar has banned students from bringing laptops to school, even in the senior years, and requires them to handwrite assignments and essays until Year 10. Its old-school policy bucks the prevailing trend in most Australian high schools, and many primary schools, to require parents to purchase laptops for use in the classroom.
Dr Vallance said the Rudd-Gillard government’s $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution, which used taxpayer funds to buy laptops for high school students, was money wasted. “It didn’t really do anything except enrich Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard and Apple,’’ he said. “They’ve got very powerful lobby influence in the educational community.’’
Sydney Grammar students have access to computers in the school computer lab, and use laptops at home.
But Dr Vallance regards laptops as a distraction in the classroom. “We see teaching as fundamentally a social activity,’’ he said. “It’s about interaction between people, about discussion, about conversation.
Academically, Sydney Grammar rates among Australia’s top-performing schools, and is frequented by the sons of Sydney’s business and political elite. Almost one in five of its Year 12 graduates placed in the top 1 per cent of Australian students for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank university entry scores last year.
The school’s alumni includes three prime ministers — Malcolm Turnbull, who attended on a scholarship, Edmund Barton and William McMahon — as well as bush poet Banjo Paterson and business chief David Gonski, the architect of a needs-based funding model to help disadvantaged students.
The private boys’ school, which charges fees of $32,644 a year, routinely tops the league tables in the national literacy and numeracy tests.
Dr Vallance said he preferred to spend on teaching staff than on technology.
And there you have it: the elite of Australia prefer to send thier children to a school where (1) teaching and not standardized tests are the priority, (2) the human element of teaching is recognized to be the primary instrument for handing down the core of knowledge from one generation to another, (3) the financial priorities are on the hiring of good teachers...and..
...on and on we could go. And Dr. Vallance is right, entirely right: the only thing that "No Child Left Behind" and "common Core" have done is to enrich Pearson, Mr. Gates & Co, Et Al.. at the trough of public financing, while the products they have peddled have resulted in a generation that cannot write anything close to legible penmanship, that cannot think, doesn't even know how to do research in a good old fashioned card catalogue, and indeed, doesn't even realize that not all facts and books have been digitized (and doesn't realize there's a reason for that), all being taught by teachers many of whom are mediocrities because they spend more time in education and pedagogy classes than in classes dealing with the subjects they want to teach, the effect of which is to choke and strangle out any last vestige of genuine joy, inspiration and desire to learn that subject. The mind-numbing quackery of ":educational methods" and "educational psychology" must consume most of their college time - not physics, mathematics, literature, art, music, geography, history - otherwise they are simply not "equipped" for "the modern classroom"
Now... I have a "modest proposal" on what to do with all the Doctors of Edubabble, all the certification advocates, all the teachers (they're not professors) of edublither in the classrooms of departments of "education". Since we're witnessing a flood of refugees into Europe, I advocate that we not ship these people back to their originating countries. We simply force them to take 16 years of American schooling.
At the end of this process, they will niether be able to read, write either English or Arabic or any other language legibly, they will not be able to read in any language, they will be unable to think, they will be colossally narcissistic (as any other products of our system are), and therefore too busy and selfish to be jihadists, Then, with luck, we can persuade Mr. Gates and the Pearson corporation to insist on standardized tests in the Islamic world, and the crisis is solved. In a generation, we can ship all of our Doctors of Edublither over there, while we rebuild the actual traditions of teaching and professorship over here.
See you on the flip side...