Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prisoners of Time


I submit this for your morning/afternoon/evening read: 

Have we learned nothing? In 1994, The National Education Commission on Learning and Time published

PRISONERS OF TIME

To quote from its introduction:
"Learning in America is a prisoner of time. For the past 150 years, American public schools have held time constant and let learning vary. The rule, only rarely voiced, is simple: learn what you can in the time we make available. It should surprise no one that some bright, hard-working students do reasonably well. Everyone else-from the typical student to the dropout- runs into trouble.
Time is learning's warden. Our time-bound mentality has fooled us all into believing that schools can educate all of the people all of the time in a school year of 180 six-hour days. The consequence of our self-deception has been to ask the impossible of our students. We expect them to learn as much as their counterparts abroad in only half the time.
 As Oliver Hazard Perry said in a famous dispatch from the War of 1812: "We have met the enemy and they are [h]ours."
If experience, research, and common sense teach nothing else, they confirm the truism that people learn at different rates, and in different ways with different subjects. But we have put the cart before the horse: our schools and the people involved with them-students, parents, teachers, administrators, and staff-are captives of clock and calendar. The boundaries of student growth are defined by schedules for bells, buses, and vacations instead of standards for students and learning."
National Education Commission on Time and Learning
1255 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20202-7591
(202) 653-5019
Read the whole report at http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/PrisonersOfTime/index.html

Comments, anyone?


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