Up the Down Staircase

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Up the Down Staircase

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:38 pm

It's been on my mind for almost 4 days now to bring up the book Up the Down Staircase on this board, namely I think to Dot perhaps since she's the former teacher.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_the_Down_Staircase

I'm sure you've read this, Dot. I've no idea what it's about, but it's not letting me alone til it gets on here. I read this in a Reader's Digest condensed version (you know) well over 10 years ago.

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Re: Up the Down Staircase

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:29 pm

Oh, yeah...sure have, TED.

Damn, that thing's at least 40 years old. I think it came out when I was in high school in the mid-60's. 1965 maybe?

It's not bad. Basically deals with the hassles vs. the rewards of a new teacher trying to herd adolescents into something resembling learning despite the bureaucratic drawbacks and medieval structure of public education.

I wouldn't be able to get through that book anymore. It's just too sad that the system hasn't changed in any notable way other than to do a better job of meeting the needs of spec ed kids and having lots of fancy-schmancy technology in the well-funded school districts. In most schools, it's still largely about fielding winning teams.

What might make education work as it should would be an individually constructed learning program for each student geared to the student's strengths and weaknesses instead of warehousing a couple dozen to 40 kids in a box with one teacher who has no way in hell of adapting for individual learning needs. One teacher to at most a half dozen kids is about what it would take. Fat frickin' chance of that happening except in the Montessori schools and maybe a very few elite private ones.

We really don't give a crap in this country about educating people decently much less really well. That'd cost far too much.

Okay, enough of my cynicism from about twenty years of experience dealing with the bullshit that passes for public education.
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