Probably 75-80% of the students I see in collge can't write to any kind of collegiate academic standards. In talking to colleagues at other institutions... they say pretty much the same thing.
This is NOT the fault of the ART TEACHER not teaching writing.
I don't know John, they tell us we all need to "Contribute".....
Basically, that seemed to be the gist of it, when other content areas asked, "Why we were expected to take time out of our curriculum, to focus on basic writing skills?" Some of the English teachers got a little miffed, when we'd ask such a thing. Others, fully agreed. My point was, if I'm taking time out of my class, to teach the basics of English, are the English teachers taking time out of theirs to teach the Elements and Principles of Design?
What's even worse is that next year, we are focusing on Standard Based Grading. I don't have a problem with this, as it's essentially the way I've always taught. But we are expected to spend this year getting our standards ready for next year, and even "practice" implementing them. But we spent two full PD days, and several classroom days, focusing on writing, which unless you teach English, has nothing to do with your content. Along with that, let's say they expect us to continue taking class time out for writing, or continue the PD down the road. How can we work that in, when we are also supposed to be meeting all of our standards? It's really not, and we shouldn't be expected to do so.
Do the students have an adequate vocabulary, can they express their thoughts and ideas orally to a high level of academic standard, do the Institutions have to go to another form of assessment?
Just questions, but I feel that if they cannot express their thoughts and ideas adequately, then the educaton system is failing.
An excolleague was a language teacher and was trying to set up penfriends with an Asian country. He was embarrassed to find tht the yr 4 Indonesian students had a much more advanced literary level of English than his YR 7 English speaking Australian students.
I don't feel the educational system is failing. But it is struggling to keep up. There are so many factors working against it. Technology is moving fast, and while it can supplement education, much of it works better to distract students (phones, tablets, etc.). And using that technology are a bunch of students, who have so much. They don't have to work for anything. They don't see much need to get better, because they are so used to having things come easy. And when things do get difficult, they get frustrated and shut down. They expect A's. They still want good grades, no doubt, because they want to go to college, because their parents expect that. But actually putting in time and effort to get those A's, ridiculous! And sometimes, the parents aren't much help. They either expect the same easy way through, or just don't care at all.
I'm not absolving teachers of their responsibility, just saying there are many more factors, than most people realize. In fact, I was at a PD day, for one of my previous districts, and the presenter, flat out said, "You can't blame the parents"....At all..... I was done listening to her at that point.
Don't know how to shorten the quote box so sorry.
I agree with Technology being a distraction and the presumption that all kids are up there with it is not right. Only got to look at their filing systems and you can see that they are as disorganised as their lockers! Seems to be the fashion to baby students along, with teachers frantically trying to get them thro'. Repetition of skills to acquire the said skill etc... boring. Gotta be gimmicky and in 5 minute bites.
Somethings are failing Benzine, not only one thing. Teachers have been disempowered, students and parents have been given many rights without the responsibilities attached.
Whole school PD days are as much of a waste of time as a web search without a question.
Keep on chipping, influence one student a year and it will still be worth it.