TLN bloggers afflict the comfortable

The stairway to educational heaven will not be built on a framework of national standards, argues Renee Moore in a new entry at her TeachMoore blog for TLN. In particular, Renee takes issue with a recent Ed Week op-ed piece penned by Patrick Mattimore, a high school AP psychology teacher in San Francisco. She writes: “Among several pieces of faulty logic in his argument is this statement: Learning proceeds hierarchically. Learning at the highest levels depends on students having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.” Not true, says Renee. “In fact, students are quite capable of thinking and learning at what we would consider the ‘highest levels’…while having significant gaps in what is traditionally considered ‘lower level’ skills.”

At The Tempered Radical, middle grades educator and digital teaching evangelist Bill Ferriter has upped his worry quotient concerning Internet safety. “Unfortunately, us ‘caring adults’ haven’t really been paying attention to what our kids are doing online.  In fact, we really have no clue what goes on behind the keyboard most of the time, do we?” He offers statistics from the ChildNet International site to make his case. Oh, and last week Bill hosted his first “Carnival of Education” here on the TLN website. The Carnival is a crazy three-ring affair, with elephants and clowns — or, as some describe it, a roundup of education blog postings from across the ‘sphere.

Nancy Flanagan, TLN’s Teacher in a Strange Land, uses Ed Week blogger Alexander Russo’s recent blog on Teach for America as sufficient motivation to share her own thinking about the alternative teacher recruitment program, which has been much-praised in the media and much-admired in many foundation grant offices. “It’s not Teach for America’s fault that the culture and occupation of teaching are often dysfunctional. Still, TFA has done nothing to re-conceptualize the work of teaching as both socially valuable and complex professional practice.” In another recent posting, Nancy offers her own take on a question that’s been on the minds of folks in our TLN daily discussion group lately: “What are teachers to do when the real world intrudes into the classroom? Just say no—or deal with it?”