When I wrote yesterday morning about the Brooking’s report on the supposed relationship between student self-esteem and math test scores, I was drawing from one source, the morning paper on my breakfast table.
Alexander over at This Week in Education looked at how the study was written up in several different papers and found some major differences in the emphasis.
The worse of what he found was a quote from a representative at Saxon Math, masters of the repeat-until-they-puke approach to teaching.
No one questions a football coach when he says we have to have two-a-day practices in 100-degree heat. People don’t question it because they feel it’s a necessary price to win.
I hate that athletic metaphor for learning. For one thing, football is a team sport and, for the most part, we treat education as a very individualistic and isolated activity.
Beyond that, however, throwing a football (or a tackle) is a much different skill set than learning the concepts of reading and mathematics.
Unless, of course, your goal is to have students learn rote processes in order to spit them back on a standardized test with no connection to the real world.
In that case, bring on the drills!