Inspirational Quotes Galore

The quote that I am going to somewhat dissect and vent out about is a quote by Albert Einstein. “Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The one major point that I love about this post is the “believing” portion of the quote. This quote honestly for me shows exactly how I feel about the education system, because I sometimes was the fish. I was the kid at times who struggled with math, and english simply because I kept on getting bad grades; and I never appeared to improve because a number was telling me so.

The other night I had a discussion with my father about where the education system stands. My dad is a little stubborn and sticks to his beliefs strongly, so when I said that we are starting to shift into a world where a grade won’t depict your academic achievement and “Smartness”. At that point he started bashing the system because he in fact was one of those students who succeeded in written tests. He asked “How can you show someones academic achievement without the use of a general test that everyone takes?” The best response I had for that is group projects which again got me thinking. In my mind it seems like we have not stepped away from standardized testing as much as we think. We are introducing group learnings and accommodations, but we still have a test at the end of the semester depicting how well we did in the class. We need to actually find a method to assessing someones achievement so that I can prove my dad wrong; and also start implementing it right when I become a teacher.

We are realizing as a society that there are different ways of learning, and that we need to accommodate for those fish who don’t know how to climb trees. However, realizing is not necessarily helping, its moving in the right direction don’t get me wrong! We just need to start making a change rather then saying we are. Educators are starting to give some water and cutting down the tree for the fish, but the overall goal is to still see how you can climb the tree. We need to start growing bigger trees for monkeys, and more water for  the fish; still giving someone the ability to do the task successfully but making it harder will make the monkey climb higher eventually.





The Reality of Standardized Testing


We were also asked to expand on the idea Ralph Tyler presented to the world of education which was standardized testing. In my own personal schooling experience I have witness many examples of Tyler’s ideas of teaching. In my opinion standardized testing is a method of allowing the “smarter” kids to be noticed more so that they can succeed; while the “Dumber” students simply get lost in the dust. I would like to believe that we are veering away from this way of education because I have seen a change in teachers attitudes from middle years to secondary education. I noticed the teachers that actually cared about your learnings rather than bombarding you with tests in order to give you an accurate grade. The things that are negative about Ralph Tyler’s point of view is the fact that it is contradictory towards the idea of a teacher. A teacher is a role model who guides a student in the right direction of success; a teacher does not base a students academic achievements simply by a percentage. It is hard to place a positive attribute on standardized testing because there is nothing positive that comes out of it. Standardized testing’s only motives are to aid the smart, and diminish the dumb. It is a method of putting a label on somebody based on only one method of testing someones intellectual skill when we as educators all know that there are many different ways we learn, and many different ways we express our achievements(all in different and unique ways).

My opinion of all testing for academic achievement is that we need to get rid of it. Every student has their own strengths and weakness’s; if one student is denied achievement simply because they did not have the ability to put it down on paper does not mean that they should penalized. Educators are already now getting to the point where we are recognizing that students do not learn in the same way. Some need more stimulation, and some need none at all. We are stepping in the right direction but we need to find a better method to allowing a student to succeed that does not involve them writing a final test that is worth 20% of their grade.


Teacher Quotes





The Not So Common Part In Common Sense

This week in ECS 210 we read the introduction to a book called Against Common Sense. We were then asked to expand on our thoughts of Common Sense, and build off of what Kumishiro was getting at.

From my experiences with the words “Common Sense” I actually find them quite contradictory because common sense is not actually that common. We assume everyone understands our cultures way of life because we are born into it; but the whole entire world has its own beliefs and culture systems. Saying something is common sense is only judging the other person hoping that they believe in the same things as yourself. I worked in a kitchen for 4 years of my life and working there was also a man of the sharpen culture. I was completely blown away when he told me that he didn’t know what The Simpsons was. In my head I near lost respect for him because he didn’t know one of the most well known shows in our culture. However, “our culture” is the key words in that statement; I was so drowned in my own culture that I forgot that not all cultures might follow the same trends as us. I think what Kumashiro is getting through common sense is that it is not common. We can not judge someone for not understanding your own common sense when it is only determined from your culture, and how you were brought up.