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Tag: ascd (Page 1 of 2)

Questions On This Combo

What should we forget?

A few more random thoughts on the merger of ISTE and ASCD. Actually, more questions than actual thoughts.

The plan to combine the two professional organizations was announced in September and consummated a couple of weeks ago following votes by both boards and the membership of ASCD. I guess ISTE’s bylaws didn’t require getting permission from our side.

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Does This Union Make Sense?

ISTE Expo

At the end of September, members of ISTE received an email from the president of their Board of Directors, announcing that the board had voted to merge with another educational organization, ASCD.1 I assume the ASCD mail list received a similar message.

It seems like a rather odd combination, for reasons I still can’t quite pin down.

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My Head Hurts

Today I received an ad for a new book titled “How to Teach So Students Remember”. I get lots of similar promotions but there was something about this one that caught my eye. And made my head hurt.

The first line of the description of the publications makes this declaration:

Ensuring that the knowledge teachers impart is appropriately stored in the brain and easily retrieved when necessary is a vital component of instruction.

The copy goes on to promise that the author will provided you with “a proven, research-based, easy-to-follow framework for doing just that”.

There is just so much wrong with everything in the space of one small email, it’s hard to know where to start.

How about the apparent core idea that the goal of good teaching is to have students “remember” all that we “impart” to them? Reflecting the traditional role of the teacher as someone who transfers information in carefully measured clumps from their tightly managed repository to the vessels sitting in the classroom.

And, in the same sentence, is the implication that success is derived from knowledge being “appropriately stored in the brain” and “easily retrieved when necessary”. I can only assume that the most important “necessary” time is the spring standardized tests.

Ok, all that snark is only based on a couple of paragraphs in an email. I haven’t read the actual book, although I did read through the first chapter posted on the web. And just that part certainly lives up to the promotion. Research-based pedagogy right out of a 50’s-era manual for running a traditional teacher-directed classroom.

I just couldn’t believe this is being peddled as a guide for modern teaching by one of the largest professional organizations for educators, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD).


An image similar to the one at the top just stuck in my head from the minute I read the ad copy. The picture, taken in 1943, is of a classroom in a UK Catholic school and is used under license from the Wikimedia Commons

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