Who do teachers think they are? Why should teachers presume to act as some kind of authorities in the classroom? Who’s to say that a child’s own ideas and “perspectives” aren’t more valid than the teacher’s?
If these questions sound like they make sense, it is only because post-modernism has thoroughly sickened the popular mind. We have become numb to the obvious. What was formerly self-evident – namely that children need to be taught and that learning is hard work – can only be questioned after layer upon layer of sophisticated nonsense is piled over top of common sense.
The “discovery learning” approach being embraced by Albertan public schools is just another branch on the rotten progressive tree (Marks on Alberta Grade 6 provincial math exams have gone from 70% to 56% in four years. Why?). There is nothing new here. The main principles of progressive education are:
- A child is inherently wise and disciplined
- Truth is subjective
- Morality is up to each individual to decide
- Academic content is minimized
- Curricular outcomes are focused on self-awareness and classroom community, rather than core skills like reading, writing, and math
- Authority of the self is emphasized
As progressive educators reject the idea of knowledge, question the authority of the teacher, and bypass the mental effort required to learn, they end up with a gummy bear curriculum: Make it easy, make it fun, praise effort instead of results, and don’t take it so seriously. Someone else will be there to pick up the pieces.
The problem is, we have fewer and fewer people who are capable of picking up after the mess left by our public schools.
Fortunately, parents have a choice!!