Tag Archives: teaching to the test

Oh Mario, Mario – Where for Art Thou?

Romeo? No, Sweetie, tis Mario!

I get email from Diggs.  Usually, it is a few articles they believe I would enjoy reading.  Also usually, I don’t.  However, this morning I was given a chance to read about the Mario Brothers movie that came out in 1993.  The article below is long, but excellent.  You may read it if you wish or skip on to the blog article which only partially about the movie.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9123782/the-strange-case-super-mario-bros-movie

What I became most intrigued with from the article was the idea that all of these movie people wanted to make a movie about an 11 year-old’s game, yet none of them had the sense to try and find out if an 11 year-old would even like it.  They poured 50 million dollars into a movie that, not only had so many problems that is nearly didn’t get made, only made about 31 million dollars when it came out.  That’s a $19,000,000 deficit.  Granted, it’s not the 16 trillion dollars the US now owes (or more), but it’s a sizable amount for a movie to lose.

I don’t think this would have gotten my attention so much if it weren’t for a video that Alienhippy posted yesterday.  The video from this post  is here:

Now, perhaps, you can see where I am headed with this?  No?  Okay.

This is college; perhaps, other lower grades should adopt some of these policies.

It seems to me that these films may have a bit in common.  The Mario movie was made for kids by adults without kids being consulted.  The result was disaster.  The animal film was made to show how students who are good at things in schools are, often, told they aren’t good enough and sent off to do something they are not so good at.  The result?  Again, failure.

In my humble opinion, the US educational system is setting itself up for abysmal failure.  We have never been very good at educating our children, at least, not by the polls and studies done over the years.  We are always set on “improving” what is a poor system.  We do this by replacing a poor system with another poor system.   I was told, when teaching, to not teach to the test.  I was told that we can’t help them with the tests.  One school, apparently, didn’t know this and now…

http://news.yahoo.com/3-dozen-indicted-atlanta-cheating-scandal-214241949.html

Yep.  I didn’t do this.  I continued to try and teach my students things I knew they could handle, along with small things that would be new and I would have to work to get them to learn.  I knew that a lot of my students would not read the books (or couldn’t), so I would make sure to lecture and show them what they would not, otherwise, see.  I made certain that the students who needed big examples that were “weird” got them so the info would stick.  I was not the greatest teacher around, but I was dedicated and worked very hard to help them.

One of the big problems I see today is that a person who is wonderfully gifted in art, for example, painting, does not get much exposure from around 4th-8th grade to do what he/she does best.  They may have art class (that is being looked at as superfluous now), but even that will only have a small amount of painting.  I allowed my students to draw a lot, those who enjoyed it.  I allowed my students to try and build things, those who…well.  I allowed students to tell me rather than write part of the time.  I did a lot of things to try to give my students every way I could think of to express themselves on different things.  I partially succeeded.

Today’s students are being pushed toward high scores in English and Math, especially.  The US is trying to get the next generation ready to be “computer” idiots.  They will know computers (maybe), but may not know how to tie their shoes (isn’t that what velcro is for?).

Maybe what we need are schools of thought.  Use grades 1-3 to get the children ready for a little of everything, including life.  Heck, make kindergarten mandatory and use it, too.  Then, use 4-8th grades to see what the student excels at.  Let high schools do the beginning of college education.  Let students be divided into groups for high math/science, high English, the Arts, and general (put sports in with general, maybe).  Then, when students graduate, colleges will get who they are looking for.

Sound like segregation by intelligences?  Maybe.  You have ideas?  I would love to hear them.

Let’s start shouting to the people with the power to free children and allow them to learn with a bit of joy in their hearts.  Could it really hurt?

Namaste,

Scott

saania2806.wordpress.com/

Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

North Noir

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