Few posts lately: I apologize


Posting’s been much slower than events warrant, lately.  Difficulties at work, and a six-week bout with allergies of unknown origins haven’t helped.

A visit with the allergist yesterday offers some hope — I’ve been symptom free now for almost 24 hours, for the first time since early October.

Before next Monday I hope to catch up a bit on the follies at the Texas State Board of Education, and other educational events around Texas.  While I’ve been itchy and swelling, the denialists haven’t gotten any smarter or nicer.

One horrible thought:  I may be allergic to stupidity in public policy.  The timing of the main attacks coincides with several rounds of recent raving excrement from government officers.  Avoiding contact with the offending stuff is not possible, then, in a moral world.

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3 Responses to Few posts lately: I apologize

  1. I hope you feel better soon. I always look forward to reading your insights on politics and education in Texas.

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    So, John: What’s a good daily exercise to use to test immediate grasping of the subject?

    What’s a good exercise to use within a week to help students understand and retain the knowledge?

    What’s a good exercise to help them keep the knowledge for longer than six months?

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  3. John Jensen says:

    The larger qusetion in much of what you write is whether or not we know what we’re doing.
    I feel strongly that a whole layer of causality is broadly ignored–which I’m guessing is because people are not accustomed to thinking about causality on the psychological level. Just as it’s taken several wars for people to think deeply about PTSD, it may take long-failing education to get people to look INSIDE students.
    With the many possible angles to take, it’s easy to assume that we already know everything we need to know. Could any “new idea” possibly make a difference? As a psychologist who’s worked at how classrooms affect children since 1971, I see some key ideas broadly ignored (that could account for many lagging indicators): how students are motivated, how subjective vs objective scoring affects them, the centrality of emotion and perception, the systematic nature of long-term knowledge retention, students’ influence over each other, the destructive power of broad purposes that are off-center, and so on. Instead of focusing on such subtle issues that actually determine students’ success, attention goes constantly to issues that resist change.
    A factor that can move rapidly, for instance, is that students change almost instantly as they move from the room of one (poor) teacher to that of another (good) teacher. As conditions align accurately with their needs, they “turn on.” This implies that school change need not take longer than a few days if we understand the conditions rightly. Think how fast a school could move if all the students were on the same page, saying “Yeah! We’re going to approach it this way instead.” This is indeed possible if people understand the problem differently.
    For some thoughts about causative factors ignored, the URL below is the main page for EdNews.org blogs on education.. A half dozen of mine are still noted there offering some angles I think national education needs to hear. Should you want more explanation, there’s much more I can send or can answer questions. I can supply you an e-book copy of my book “The Silver Bullet Easy Learning System: How to Change Classrooms Fast and Energize Students for Success,” (Xlibris, 2008). Contact me at jjensen@gci.net. If you want to talk, I’m at 480-588-6200. The bottom line is that any school can turn around in a couple months if it teaches differently. if you’re not familiar with how this can be done, I’d appreciate the opportunity to explain it.
    Best, John Jensen, Ph.D.. http://www.ednews.org/categories/blogs—educationnewsorg/education.html

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