Finally, the post everybody's been waiting for (Make sure you read this first) . . .
Earlier today, I posted a bunch of random quotes from a commentary written by a teacher (see above). So, what prompted this?
The much-discussed Atlantic piece by "Professor X" is finally available online. Since I'd already mentioned it in a previous post, I decided I should read it and see what all the fuss is about.
Most of the discussion has centered around the theme of the article -- that "The idea that a university education is for everyone is a destructive myth" -- but I was struck by something else.
If a K-12 teacher said half the stuff that Professor X did, they would be crucified . . . and by many of the same people who've been agreeing with him.
The article, in essence, says that although he is a very talented and hard-working professor, that he simply cannot teach many of his students to succeed because they're too far behind and have too many obstacles to success.
Imagine a K-12 teaching saying the same thing, with the conclusion being that the students simply didn't belong in school b/c they were incapable of passing. They would be branded as subscribing to the "myth of helplessness" and blamed for all the problems of our schools. They would be told that they're either not qualified to be teaching or need to work harder. They would be told not to make excuses and that every child can succeed. And there might be a grain of truth in some of these statements.
But, somehow, Professor X's essay is proof not that he's a miserable teacher but that the students aren't qualified to be taking his course -- and that we should stop pushing so many students to take similar courses.
I continue to find it odd that K-12 and higher education are so similar but are treated so differently.