kitchen table math, the sequel: 2/3/08 - 2/10/08

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Schaum's outlines

from Allison --

Ever hear of Schaum's Outlines?

Have they gone the way of the dodo? Why did Barron's replace them--were they bought out, or is it name recognition?

I made it through college because of Schaum's Outlines. They just had problem after problem after problem, plus all solutions, so you could just do the problems over and over and over until you got it.

Friends of mine from S. Korea and India say all of their math and science college courses were taught with Schaum's as the textbooks.

If I'm remembering correctly, Allison went to Cal Tech. (Is that right?)

update: wrong

Allison attended MIT.

I'm becoming a loyal customer of Schaum's today.

how to bypass high school

an email from my sister:

Speaking of just sending C. to community college and being done with you know that's what we are doing with M. out here in California. She's halfway through her first year of high school and hates it. The solution: we will homeschool her through one of the zillions of charter schools until she turns 16. [ed. note: My sister isn't talking about homeschooling as the rest of us know it. I believe the CA term is "independent schools." I'll check. Better yet, I'll get her to explain!]

What the home schooled high school kid does is enroll in the local community college. During what would be her 10th grade year, she will be working on UC general education requirements. JCs are designed to meet needs of very basic learners on up, so high school kids can complete the necessary pre-reqs (tranlation: high school level classes) needed should they not test into the college level class.

Now there's a bit more to this. At 16, M. will proficiency out of high school. A proficiency is a bad thing if that's all you plan to do as it ranks below the GED. Essentially, to pass, all a student needs is a pulse. Why proficiency out? If he proficiencies out of high school, the youth is free to enroll full time in college (prior to proficiencying out of high school, students are limited to 11 units a semester; plus you do have to play some games with the charter school that get tedious).

Now, why this plan?

First of all, you avoid high school craziness.

Second, you avoid all the stress of AP, SAT testing, etc. You see, what parents don't realize, or seem to disbelieve despite admissions officers stating this fact, is that transfer students do not submit high school transcripts. All that matters is your college record along with any unique entry requirements in the school/major of choice.

Third, if you've got a mature kid, they get a jump on college. At 18 when Michelle's friends are graduating from high school, she will be ready to transfer into the UC system as a junior.

Fourth, it's a huge money saver. CC classes are $12 a unit (and for homeschool students that fee is waived; plus the homeschool charter pays for many of the college textbooks). Additionally, we'll save $27,000 a year (tuition/housing at UCLA) for the two years Michelle attends the local CC fulfilling the general education requirements she would have had to take during her first two years at UCLA.

Fifth, admissions officers at the universities will tell you it's easier to get accepted as a transfer than a freshman.

I tell you, this is a huge discovery. I asked the admissions officer at our CC why tons of high school kids weren't flocking in and her exact words were, "It's because their parents can't wrap their heads around the concept." She said she will tell parents what I just spelled out here and they don't believe her. Parents are that engrained in the belief that their kids must suffer through high school and take those AP classes.

Classic example: Michelle's dear friend is going to enroll in a $37,000 a year boarding school in the Bay Area as a 10th grader. He hates high school and figures this will solve his problems and be his ticket into college.

Of course, our plan isn't for everyone. You do need a level of emotional maturity that some kids don't have. But, it really should be an option seriously considered.

I'm trying to figure out how this might work here in New York state where we don't have an independent study option that I know of. I should see whether we have any kind of proficiency-ing out option.

What I also don't know is whether kids can take the Regents exams on their own. As far as I can tell, your school district controls the tests - but that can't be, right? Homeschooled kids would have to be able to take Regents.

I wonder if Chris' guidance counselor knows.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Learning & The Brain Conference in SF, Next in

I have come back from the Learning and the Brain conference every day with noble intentions of transcribing my posts into meaningful summaries of what I have heard and what I have learned....only to fall asleep over the computer. As I am now, and it is only 8:45.

If you are interested in the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and education, you might want to join the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society:

The mission of the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES) is to facilitate cross-cultural collaboration in biology, education and the cognitive and developmental sciences. Science and practice will benefit from rich, bi-directional interaction. As research contributes to usable knowledge for education, practice can help to define promising research directions and contribute to the refinement of testable hypotheses. The Society invites researchers and practitioners at all levels of education to explore the questions and proposed solutions that emerge at the intersection of mind, brain and education. We seek to create environments where ideas are welcomed and at the same time critically and rigorously examined.

The Society’s principal goal is to foster dynamic relations between neuroscience, genetics, cognitive science, development, and education so that each field benefits from and influences work in the others, including questions asked, phenomena addressed, and methods employed.
The next Learning and the Brain conference is April 26-29 , 2008, in Cambridge, MA, which is more focused on brain plasticity and adult learning. Go check it out.

making every possible mistake

I'm a new soul.
I came to this strange world hoping I could learn a bit ‘bout how to give and take.
But since I came here…..felt the joy and the fear.....finding myself making every possible mistake.


I'm a young soul in this very strange world hoping I could learn a bit ‘bout what is true and fake.
But why all this hate?
Try to communicate.
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make.


This is a happy end.
'course you don't understand.
Everything you have done......
why's everything so wrong?

This is a happy end.
Come and give me your hand.
I'll take you far away.

I'm a new soul I came to this strange world hoping I could learn a bit ‘bout how to give and take. But since I came here…..felt the joy and the fear…..finding myself making every possible mistake.



I am moved by this song.

Given that it's the number 1 download on iTunes, that's me and everyone else, I guess.

woo hoo! (Friday edition)

C. earned 36 out of 34 points on his math quiz this week.


Sure takes the sting out of the 79 he got on his midterm a couple of weeks back. (Can you say "mixed review"?)*

This week's test included the following problems:

One year ago, the average price of a h ome computer system was $1500. Today, the average price is $1100. By what percent has the average cost of a home computer system decreased?


Lauren bought organic crackers for $4 after receiving a 25% discount., What was the original price of the crackers?

Seven months ago, in July, C. had no idea how to figure a 10% discount. Five months ago he began this school year with a D- on his first math test.

C+ first quarter grade.

B- second quarter.

More recently: scattered As on quizzes.

Now this.

He's going to make it.

Knock on wood.

tutors and more tutors

I keep hearing about tutors. Lots of kids in the class, it seems, are being tutored. More and more as the year goes along, I gather. C. says one of his pals "has a whole brigade of tutors."


This week I learn that at least 2 of the kids are being tutored by other math teachers in the school.

Hiring a math teacher in the school to tutor your child is definitely a good idea, because a math teacher from the school comes to tutoring sessions equipped with:
  • class syllabus
  • course scope and sequence
  • teacher’s edition of the textbook
  • answer key
  • solution manual
  • supplemental Glencoe practice workbooks and answer keys aligned to Glencoe Algebra textbook
  • attendance at department meetings; access to informal conversations amongst colleagues, etc.
  • knowledge of material to be covered on upcoming quizzes and tests

As C. said when he mentioned the teacher-tutors of Irvington, "It's sort of like insider trading."

Yes, it is, son.

Poor C. He has no one but his mother to help, and I don't have any of these things. No syllabus. No scope and sequence. No answer key. And certainly no aforeknowledge of what's going to be on the test. **

It's not that I haven't asked for these things. I have. I've asked. I've asked repeatedly.

I don't have them.

Because I don't have any of these things, and because math teachers here in Irvington ($22,000 per pupil funding) don't collect or correct math homework, I have had to work every homework set myself so that I could correct C's homework.

I finished Homework #73 during the Super Bowl.

After I complete each assignment, C. and I compare notes, figure out which one of us got the wrong answer when our answers differ, and then re-do the problems we missed.

My situation reminds me of Ginger Rogers.

She did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and wearing heels.

* more on this subject anon

** It's possible the other kids' teacher-tutors don't have aforeknowledge of what's going to be on the test, either. But how would I know?

can you FOIL the answers?
woo hoo, Friday edition
differentiated instruction in action

code of silence, part 2

more on why parents don't criticize their schools:

from Molly:
I have 2 in public school and 1 who now homeschools.

Once I pulled out of the neighborhood school, I suddenly started hearing all sorts of misgivings from other parents. It was as if they felt it was "safe" to talk to me about how they really felt about the school after I made my feelings public. Parents are concerned, but think that everyone else is happy with the school so they must be wrong.

from Tex:
Many people see their own kids as the problem, NOT the school. That attitude was enormously appealing to me. However, when I began to see the nonsense that sometimes passes as teaching, I changed my tune and started to consider that the school was not holding up their end of the bargain. I began to call them on it, and their response has been to do nothing differently. And, to sometimes ignore me.

Sense of futility.

People who don't have kids in the schools need to get involved.

I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, I think people who don’t have kids in the schools usually cannot know the problems as well as the parents with school kids. They’re not as motivated and they view it as someone else’s problem. Of course, their protestations are often discounted by the powers that be and by the other parents.

Steve H on the same subject:
Many of the best advocates for change did have kids in the public schools. They got fed up and went elsewhere. Now they wash their hands of the problem.

Twenty to twenty-five percent of the kids in our town go to other schools. Some of the parents worked very hard to get the public schools to change or offer alternatives. They wouldn't. Now, these parents are accused of wanting an "elite" education and dismissed out-of-hand. The schools know that this is not true.

They just want to do what they want to do, and they try to focus all arguments on money. They would do more, but they just don't have the money.

concerned parent:
Of course, I know of a few people who do. We are, of course, the exception. People move here for the schools. It would never cross their minds that homeschooling would be an option-- a very good option, in fact.

Strangely enough, my daughter is promoting the value of homeschooling whenever she can. She has friends begging their parents to homeschool them. When parents hear all the interesting things my daughter has to say, how eloquently and coherently she can present her ideas, and that she is not socially dwarfed by being educated at home, whatever stereotypes they may have had about homeschooling are challenged.
In some way, this may open up a dialogue between parents are their own children about what is going on in school and what they are learning (or not learning). It just may cause parents to take pause and re-evaluate what's happening in our schools with a more critical eye.

I love it!


homeschooling in the D.C. area:
In the Washington, D.C., area, which is probably just as affluent as that of the above poster, homeschooling is very popular, attracting people of diverse educational philosophies. Many of the posters on this blog would be candidates for homeschooling. My wife and I homeschool our two daughters.

That is very encouraging to hear.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

another student taking ownership of his learning

more from

Barron's Regents Exams and Answers : Earth Science is one of the most valuable tools in studying for the New York state regents exam in Earth Science. It has many of the past regents to practice from, answers explained, and tips for when you take the regents. In the answers explained section it will tell you why the answer is right and even why other answers are wrong! I got a 95 on the regents with the help of this book. If you are taking Earth Science I would highly recommend that you get this book.

Why have teachers at all?

Just buy the kids a bunch of Barron's test prep books and tell them when and where.

a student taking ownership of his learning
another student taking ownership of his learning

a student taking ownership of his learning


I reccomend that the best way for studying for the regents is taking practice tests after practice tests. You soon to being to basically memorize the questions on it. I got a 98 on the regents and tauight myself the whole course.


a student taking ownership of his learning
another student taking ownership of his learning

book club - Don't Shoot the Dog - money for grades

I've finished Don't Shoot the Dog - amazing.


And, best of all: will get a 13-year old to do math with his mother!

Have been trying to steal time to write posts about the book, and then for some reason was inspired to compose what should have been a first post here as a Comment on Ken's blog instead.

subject: "extinguishing" a behavior you don't like by putting the behavior on cue.

Code of silence?

In a comment that Catherine pulled out, I suggested that it's practically taboo for people to talk critically about the school their children attend. (Obviously that's not the case at KTMII, but this group is the exception to the rule.)

The question is - why?

Why is it that people are so accustomed to talking openly about every service they receive - cable, air travel, house painting, phone service, retail, etc. - except for public education?

If you have a problem with most services, you complain to the service provider, and you're not afraid to talk with other people about your experiences. But that doesn't happen in education. Again, why?

Is it a sense of futility? Are people afraid that their children will be punished somehow because their parents are rabble-rousers? Do people feel outmatched - on the wrong side of "the expert advantage"? Is it because people don't have any hard proof on which to base their arguments? Is it just because that's how it is - there's community pressure to hold your tongue? Or is it something else?


Non-linear Rubric Grading

After two semesters, here are the results of 4 tests and 1 quiz.

29/35 = 83% - A rubric grade of 3

39/45 = 87% - A rubric grade of 3

11/12 = 92% - A rubric grade of 4

31/33 = 94% - A rubric grade of 4

41/42 = 98% - A rubric grade of 5

All of the questions were simple problems that were either right or wrong. There was no partial credit.

The teachers say that a 3 is supposed to be "Meeting Expectations", as defined by the state, but clearly, an 87% is much better than that. Many kids think a 3 is a 'C'. A 4 is clearly an A, and a 5 is an A+, although one teacher said that a 5 is really more than an A+. You have to show "critical thinking" that goes beyond the assignment definition. So, to get a 5, you have to do more than what they tell you to do, but they won't tell you what that is. They added the 5 in the last few years. I guess that's their solution to giving more to the capable students ... but it's up to them to figure out what that is. The other benefit of this is that if students don't get 5's, then it's not the school's fault, and parents can't complain that they aren't doing enough. Adding 5's didn't mean that teachers had to do an ounce more work.

If kids don't master the material when they are young, then it's a developmentally appropriate issue. When kids do poorly when they get older, then they aren't taking responsibility for their own learning. It's a no-lose situation for them. That's why they like Everyday Math. No expectations of mastery when they are young and then flunk them when they struggle with the Math Boxes in sixth grade.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008



Somebody on the animal ethology list linked to his page. Haven't read yet; apparently he was an assistant to Konrad Lorenz.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fun with decimal conversion

I am tutoring a supersmart, high-SES seventh grader, and his class is converting repeating decimals to fractions using algebra. This is in a Chicago public school in a "gentrified" neighborhood.

Now, I have been happily converting repeating decimals of the type 0.3333..., 0.6666..., 0.232323... and 0.753753753... for a while using algebra. I was initially thrown when the decimals he was given for homework were of the type 0.244444..., 0.3020202... and 0.4213213213. I hadn't encountered those before.

I thought some KTM readers might enjoy trying their hands on those.

your worst nightmare

Walk into one of those churches on a typical Sunday morning, and you will find only a few, startling islands of brown or blond hair amid a sea of gray. Almost 20 percent of the population is over the age of 65.


The former Midlakes Middle School, which sits in neighboring Phelps, has transmogrified into “Vienna Gardens,” a private independent-living facility where my grandmother now lives. The bones of the schoolhouse are still clearly visible under the carpet and overstuffed couches that line the halls; the residents take their meals in the cavernous former gymnasium.

No Country for Old Men
by Megan McArdle
"The Baby Boomers’ retirement will change the texture of society in ways we’ve scarcely begun to contemplate. A dispatch from America’s coming silver age."

Clearly we need a living will-type document people can use to inform their adult children they do not wish to live in a former middle school no matter how demented they may be.

what Brett would do with $1,000,000

I just remembered that I had not included my own answer to the question.

I would divvy it up into piles of $200,000 each so I could sustain my work for five years. I would identify a smallish district (10-20 schools) and begin a long-term, community-wide campaign to engage parents as customers of public education.

For some reason, talking about public education in anything less than uncritical terms has become taboo - which is ridiculous. It's our money and our kids - they exist to serve their communities.

Remind parents that they have an eminent right to demand accountability, performance, and responsiveness. With a five-year funded effort, you should be able to influence public opinion and ultimately the local elections process. Once you have a community and school board full of people with a consumer mentality, you'll see the public start to take the reins again of this public service.

Verrrry interesting.

Brett's right; speaking ill of one's school is taboo, or close to. The idea of putting some resources into engaging parents as customers rather than fundraisers and loyal fans -- yup. I'm on board for that one.

Steve H on schools and assumptions

. . . . This relates to a main theme I have been pushing for years; education based on individuals rather than statistics. I can understand that the government wants to improve averages (statistics), but this comes at the expense of individual educational opportunities. As long as education is based on statistics, the affluent will provide the needed opportunities and the poor will get the baseline.... It's nice that psychologists will add some real science to the debate, but it's not the solution.

Years ago, I had a discussion with a member of our school committee who really liked the idea of IEP's for all students. I thought it odd at the time because she was a major proponent of mixed-ability, child-centered learning. I guess she thought schools could have it both ways. Differentiated Learning sounds nice, but most schools use it as cover for their fundamental belief in mixed-ability learning. As I mentioned long ago, our school started calling it Differentiated Learning instead of Differentiated Instruction because the teachers don't instruct and they want the kids to take responsibility for their learning.

How can psychologists set a baseline for instruction when schools do not believe in instruction? Will it be a baseline for instruction just to meet NCLB? [ed.: the answer is yes]

What's missing from this discussion are parents and their opinions of what constitutes a good education for their individual children. I emphasize the word opinions because this is not the domain of ed school graduates or psychologists, who now seem to be playing the statistical baseline game.

I would rather see psychologists stick with the individual. I'd rather see psychologists define what is an expected learning level for individual children. But what I would really like to see is schools assuming that all kids can get into Harvard (no matter what a psychologist says), not that all kids can get over the minimal NCLB requirements, or what they call "all kids can learn."

I may have to tattoo this onto my forehead.

My own district, which includes parents who attended Harvard themselves, scorns the very idea that a parent might wish his child to follow in his footsteps.

"Don't push your child."

"Every child has his place."

"Parents need to let go."

"Let your child self-advocate."


Richard Elmore posts coming right up.

The rich really are different from you and me. Rich school districts, too.

in Times Square

C. says there will be pandemonium at the middle school today.



I think these Times Square revelers better do a group reflection.

go Giants

woo hoo

"I don't know if he did get rattled, but he had grass stains."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

on a certain arrogance, part 2

A couple of years ago I posted this passage from Siegfried Engelmann's The War Against the Schools’ Academic Child Abuse summarizing Galen Alessi's classic study of school psychologists:

I didn't post the full passage, however, which I re-read last night. The full passage has to do with arrogance. Seeing as how Concerned has raised the subject, I thought I'd chime in:

Diagnosis Diagnosed: A Systemic Reaction, Professional School Psychology, 3 (2), 145-151

Galen Alessi wrote an article in 1988 in which he diagnosed diagnosis. He asked 50 school psychologists to indicate how many cases they referred during the year. The average was about 100 per psychologist; so the group provided information on about 5000 kids. Alessi next tried to determine the different causes of the kid's learning problems. How many of the kids had the learning problem because of inappropriate curriculum? How many had learning problems because of poor teaching, or because of school administration problems? How many kids had problems because of home problems, or because there was some defect in the kid?

The percentages came out something like this:

  • The curriculum caused 0% of the referred problems:
  • The teaching practices caused 0% of the referred problems;
  • The school administration caused 0% of the referred problems;
  • The home environment caused 10-20% of the referred problems;
  • The child caused 100% of the referred problems.

The results tend to leave little doubt about whether the school psychologists work for the schools or the children. It further leaves no doubt that the sorting machine is alive and well. Consider the presumed infallibility of the schools suggested by this outcome. Not one of 5000 failures is presumed to be caused by school practices.


The arrogance of many administrators is not apparent in their personality. They may appear thoughtful, concerned, and open to suggestions. Their arrogance is in their decisions and their actions. Their actions reflect a fundamental lack of important values. Galen Alessi alluded to the problem with school psychologists: “Mere logic and research data will not change the role of school psychology, because the problem is not one of science but of values.”

Source: War Against the Schools’ Academic Child Abuse by Siegfried Engelmann, page 65-6

I hadn't thought about the arrogance this betrays.

100% infallibility!

The schools involved in this study have never, in 5000 cases of school failure, been at fault. Perfection has been achieved.

Years ago, when C. was first in school, I noticed that our district never admitted error. Ever. Not admitting error was a principle.

Very often, though, when a problem was brought to someone's attention, the school would publicly deny it but then privately fix it. I always thought that was fine. The school was responsive in its way.

Today, given what we've seen in the middle school, I've changed my view. Schools need formal, public mechanisms for identifying error, admitting error, and working with parents and students to remediate errors in teaching, curriculum, and/or administration.

I think I've mentioned my friend who sends her children to a private school down south a ways. The school gives the kids standardized tests 4 times a year, then meets with parents to go over the results. If a student has fallen behind in an area the school tells his parents why they believe this has occurred.

This means telling parents whether or not other students have been having the same problem.

If a child is the only one having a problem (this will be a true statement as opposed to the non-true statement that is routinely made or implied to parents in public schools), the school says so and tells the child's parents what steps the school is taking to bring him or her back up to speed. I remember one spring my friend's older child had lagged in usage of personal pronouns. This was a bright and capable child, so the school gave the family a packet of worksheets for their child to do over the summer. They said that was all it would take, and that was all it took.

If all of the kids, or a large portion of them, have fallen off the track in a particular area the school says so and explains what they are doing to bring everyone back up to speed.

All schools should function this way.

If a student is having a problem the school should:

  • know the child is having a problem
  • remediate the problem at once
  • analyze the situation to see why the problem developed

That is not what happens in public schools.

Instead, in public schools the child develops a problem and the teacher grades his work accordingly. Parents find out when the report card comes home. If the district sends out Interim Reports parents can get the bad news sooner instead of later.

And that is that.

If the parents care to contact the teacher or the school, fine. If not, that's fine, too.

In either case, the solution will be Extra Help, which the child and/or the parent will be responsible for "seeking."

If Extra Help doesn't work, there's nothing more to say.

Galen Alessi on the odds

First, the psychologists were asked whether all agreed that each of the just-mentioned, five factors may play a primary role in a given school learning or behavior problem. They almost always agreed. Next, they were asked for the number of cases each had examined in the past year to determine the source of learning problems. The answer was usually about 120. Using 100 as a round number, multiplied by the group size of 50, yields about 5,000 cases studied by the group in the past year.

At the next step, the group was asked for the number of psychological reports written that concluded that the referred problem was due primarily to curriculum factors. The answer was usually none. All cases out of 5,000 examined confirmed that their schools somehow had been fortunate enough to have adopted only the most effective basal curricula.

When asked for the number of reports that concluded that the referred problem was due primarily to inappropriate teaching practices, the answer also was none. All cases out of 5,000 examined proved that their districts had been fortunate enough to have hired only the most skilled, dedicated, and best prepared teachers in the land.

When asked how many reports concluded that the referred problem was due primarily to school administrative factors, the answer again was none. All cases out of 5,000 examined demonstrated that their districts had hired and retained only the nation's very best and brightest school administrators.

When asked how many reports concluded that parent and home factors were primarily responsible for the referred problem, the answer ranged from 500 to 1,000 (10% to 20%). These positive findings indicated that we were finally getting close to the source of educational problems in their schools. Some children just don't have parents who are smart, competent, or properly motivated to help their children do well in school.

Finally, I asked how many reports concluded that child factors were primarily responsible for the referred problem. The answer was 100%. These 5,000 positive findings uncovered the true weak link in the educational process in these districts: the children themselves. If only these districts had better functioning children with a few more supportive parents, there would be no educational difficulties.

As an addendum, I offered informal data collected in local Individual Educational Planning Committee (IEPC) meetings that suggest that family factors are invoked most often when the parent does not attend the meeting or if the parent is involved in a way deemed inappropriate by the school staff. Otherwise, child factors alone seem to carry the explanatory burden for school learning and behavior problems.

One does not need complex statistical analyses to know that these results are significant beyond the .0000001 level. The set of all cases studied by these school psychologists comprises a needs assessment for their districts. And, the results indicate clearly no need to improve curricula, teaching practices, nor school administrative practices and management. The only needs involve somehow improving the stock of children enrolled in the system, and some of their parents. But, it is equally unclear how school psychologists can help resolve this kind of problem. School psychologists seem to define school problems in ways that cannot be resolved.


I know the answer to that!

Extra Help.


Until schools agree to connect teaching with achievement -- inputs with outputs -- and to do so publicly, matters will not improve.

weird synchroniticy

I suppose synchronicity is always a little weird, but this is especially so.

I'm working on my chapter on chickens, and had just written these words:

This reminds me of a talk I heard Earl Butz, who was the Secretary of Agriculture XXXX

Then I hit Google because I couldn't remember which president Earl Butz served under and discovered this headline:

Earl Butz, Ex-US Agriculture, Dies at 98 (Upate1) - 38 minutes ago


On a Certain Arrogance

"Unmindful of the lessons of educational history, regardless of the universal rules of logic, they proclaim the validity of untested theories and untried ideals, and denounce as traitors and maligners all who do not agree with them.

It was so comfortable to imagine that, thru interesting reading and thru story-telling and thru counting the petals of flowers and the legs and ears of animals, and writing about them, children could learn arithmetic, and composition and grammar, and that those tiresome drills to which old-fogy teachers and superintendents pinned their faith could be neglected with impunity! Hence thousands of teachers followed this new will-o'-the-wisp. The results were most deplorable."

William Henry Maxwell
On a Certain Arrogance in Educational Theorists
February 1914

We're closing in on a century since Maxwell was brave enough to call out the "educational theorists" and yet, here we are in very much the same place. I find it ironic that the pedagogy schools of education and public school administrators laud as progressive, cutting edge, and 21st century was outdated even one hundred years ago.

Ed schools have institutionalized the arrogance that Maxwell found "most deplorable". The poor man must be spinning in his grave.

on a certain arrogance, part 2