Monday, September 29, 2008

More BS school projects

My 8th grader has spent the last three hours working on a "government accordian book".  She has used colored paper, glue on letters, stencils, and drawings so far.

As near as I can tell, she hasn't learned a single thing about about the government yet.

I wanted to send a note to her teacher pointing this out, but my wife and my daughter wouldn't let me.

So if by some chance an 8th grade social studies teacher happens to read this, I have a message for them.

Stop wasting my kids time!


NYC Educator said...
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NYC Educator said...

I agree with you, and my kid has gotten some remarkably similar assignments. I won't go in and complain either, largely because my wife tells me not to, as I would certainly alienate the teacher by doing so (with potential negative consequences for my kid). I have to say, though, that the overwhelming majority of the homework she gets is not crap. Were it otherwise, my wife wouldn't be able to restrain me.

nbosch said...

Glad you are back to blogging about thing I dare comment on. I was scared to death to get into the Palin discussion!

About 20 years ago one of my sons' mid term project for science was to draw a Kansas animal on a paper plate. I kid you not.

mazenko said...

I will say this: often projects like this are used to engage students in non-academic ways while allowing them to research and focus on academic issues.

Granted, this is sometimes malarky, though I do acknowledge Gardner's different intelligences and their place in education.

I am extremely traditional and conservative in the classroom, though this past year - for one project - I broke down some barriers and assigned a multi-genre research paper to my regular level juniors - for whom academic engagement is not usually a relative term.

It was the best writing and the most engaged these students were all year. Thus, I get the point of the "foo-foo stuff," and it's all in how it is handled by the teacher.