A Fox Called Kay (kayfox) wrote,
A Fox Called Kay

From: "Kyle Fox" <spam.kay@kayfox.org>
Subject: Re: Two "NO" votes mailed this morning!!
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 20:08:19 -0800
Message-ID: <pan.2004.>
Newsgroups: pdx.general,or.politics

On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 16:05:22 -0800, Joyce Reynolds-Ward wrote:

>>> Doesn't mean there can't be options for independent study, but most
>>> kids need more structure in their learning than that, and certainly if
>>> you're going to allow high school kids the opportunity to hare off on
>>> their own devices, then you need to train and prepare them to do so
>>> later on.
>>I smell a charter school.
> What, on your part or on mine?

Mine I guess. A charter school would provide an example of this sort of
education strategy, allowing study of and perfection of the techniques
that make such a strategy work.

>>Yeah, public school students have been taught that learning is a boring
>>thing, so they would probably just goof off. but this is a concept that
>>needs further study before any conclusions on its effectiveness with
>>unmotivated students can me drawn.

> Classic liturgy spouted by folks who've bought into the idea that the
> democratic school notion works for all kids.

I know. I also know that for my friends and me, this is what *did*

> Spend some time looking into special education and learning
> disabilities.

I have 4 years of experience from the SE student side, I know how utterly
useless it is with most of the students in it.

To be more precise, I knew people in that program that would appear, minus
their classification, to be a well educated person with marketable skills,
some of the better ones already having jobs. These kids knew alot about
stuff the cared about, showing absolute dedication to ther interests.

But, being in the special ed part of the student body, emphasis was placed
on their percieved inability to learn. To a point that the special ed
advisor would attempt to control every aspect of their educational lives,
and if the parents help, every aspect of their home lives, sacrificing it
to whatever subject(s) was not "exceeding" in.

I say "exceeding" with quotes, because while being a special ed student, I
would get crap everytime any assignment I did, even if it was
satisfactory, failed to live up to the expecations of my SE advisor.

Of course, this was only my own experience.

> Kids with specific learning disabilities and
> communication disorders (as well as Asperger Syndrome and autism) need
> more structure than the type of school you are advocating provides.

As someone with ADHD and "autistic tendencies" I tend to think that its
more something that should be dealt with in therapy and work habits than a
with a 13 year lesson in bondage. And its not like I dont enjoy bondage

This is where the mentor/advisor would come in, in my theoretical system,
students that dont self-educate well on their own would be paired up with
an older advisor or another student that is good at self educating and
would like a partner to help out. Groups might happen also, developing
team skills that will be valuble in the real world.

> Structured learning is *not* evil, despite what John Holt and his
> groupies profess.

Im sorry, but everytime I get classified into a particular group of
people, it is with the intent to discredit my argument by association.

I have also noted that classification like that suggests that the person
using it is ignoring any knowlege the groups may posess on the basis of
their beliefs.

> Done correctly, it works well--

From my experience, it works well for a certain set of students, most of
these being the set that most likely would exceed at unstructured

Although, for the rest of the population it "works well" with, it teaches
them that learning is not something that you *can* do on our own, which,
from what Ive read and seen, makes them not learn on their own.

Having dealt with Windows based computer users, I have noticed this, many
of these people will sit down at a non windows based computer and fail to
make any attempt to understand waht is infront of them, even if they have
been already taught how to operate software of an equvalent type and

Although I have noticed that application classes often teach in a "this is
now this works" manner, not making any attempt to teach cross-platform
usage. Its like a logger that only knows how to operate Sthil chainsaws.

> and for a certain
> group of kids, it works better than anything unstructured.

There is a certain segment of the population that seems to be utterly
unable to do anything without supervision. Of course, Im seperationg out
the rebels and punks, because as I have seen, they are certainly able to
suceed, but are often too anti-establishment to get stuff done, especially
after being labeled and given substandard educational care.

> Anecdotally, I'm working with a kid in my household who had little to
> no and inconsistent academic support and structure until he got here.
> He was inclined to goof off and not be very motivated.

What was he doing while "goofing off"?

> Given
> structure, he's doing better academically and personally. Left to his
> own devices, he'd still be drifting.

They said that about Bill Gates...

- Kay

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