silly syllabuses and cretinous curriculums
My favourite scratched-record rant is the deterioration of public education. Judith Wheeldon examines the erosion of teaching standards in Ozzy schools. The NZ experience is spookily similar. Congrats to the Oz papers for their courageous honesty; public school teachers here are one of kiwi journalism's sacred cows: saintly, untouchable, beyond criticism. The sad truth is that most of today's teachers, themselves, were trained in a system rent by academic fads: learning must be 'fun', self-directed, effortless and geared toward enhancing students' self-esteem. Notions of discipline, competition, and excellence have been discarded as unfashionable or reactionary.
Most damaging, however, has been the assault of post-structuralism & post-modernism which has smothered Education faculties like toxic sludge, giving rise to that most pernicious of teaching theories: critical pedagogy, where 'reasoning' takes a back seat to 'feelings'; logic gives way to fairness & social justice. Meanwhile, basic literacy & numeracy levels plummet. If you want your children 'educated', better sharpen those pencils and don that instructor's cap, yourself. When even our teachers can't spell properly, are innocent of history, and can not discern facts from opinions - what hope is their for students?