One of my friends holds advanced degrees in education, and she used cutting-edge methods to teach her own kids. What she forgot was the classic problem of the teacher being all fired up and motivated, and the student feeling left out of the picture. After all, fundamentals may be old-hat for teachers, but for students they're all new concepts. Her son was all but forgotten in her enthusiasm and fascination with the perpetually new. She has asked me a hundred times what I think is "wrong" with him (answer: "you").I wonder if this boy was being homeschooled or afterschooled.
She force-fed her son this and that fad over the years while he quietly turned off to learning. He recently dropped out of the marginal college he was able to squeak into with his middling test scores, yet it is obvious to anyone who talks with him for five minutes that he is very bright. I think he'll probably drop back in some day when he returns for his own reasons, but his mom's incessant buzz-speak about the latest pedagogical gewgaws of the day (I suspect 21st-century skills were part of it) really did a number on him. Poor kid.
The Latest Doomed Pedagogical Fad: 21st-Century Skills
by Jay Mathews
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, September 5, 2010
edu-fads at home
Found this comment on Jay Mathews' 2009 column about 21st century skills: