NL - N.o 74 (10.7.2002) Il dibattito sull'insegnamento in USA
Nel numero scorso avevo annunciato la ripresa di interesse sulla scuola.
Questo è per mettere a vostra disposizione una miniera di link che ho scoperto nel sito di Claude Rochet.
L'originale era un mix di francese e inglese, ora c'è anche un po' d'italiano, ma sono certo che la mia sceltissima Compagnia di lettori non avrà difficoltà, comportandosi, all'occorrenza, come Prévert:
"io so, e quello che non so l'indovino, e quello che non indovino l'invento..."
Il dibattito sull'insegnamento in USA
Malamente tradotto dal sito di Claude Rochet
Un rapporto impressionante sull'incultura delle élite americane! (ACTA)
- "In the country that gave birth to Jefferson’s conception of an educated citizenry, colleges and universities are failing to provide the kind of general education that is needed for graduates to be involved and educated citizens."
L'educatione è stato il tema centrale della campagne presidenziale 2000
Education has emerged as one of the major issues in the 2000 presidential campaign. Surely many educators are gratified to see so much attention paid to their work, but there are dangers, too, as candidates compete to offer expansive new programs that may appeal to voters.
This use of jargon implies that the teacher cares more about your child's education than you do. After all, the teacher has been trained to use the most progressive methods available, so his or her knowledge on this subject shouldn't be questioned. What the teacher neglects to tell you is that the "research" she refers to is not necessarily supported by mainstream scientific inquiry (i.e., published in scientific journals within a specific discipline such as psychology).
By using terminology that has either negative- or positive-sounding connotations, educators can succeed in silencing your opposition, simply because you don't understand the meaning of the words and phrases. Therefore, you should arrive at the teacher conference knowing the language teachers speak, just as you would have to do if you visited a foreign country.
Imparare o "imparare a imparare"?
Dans une étude "Do Hard Courses and Good Grades Enhance Cognitive Skills? " le Program on Education Policy and Governance de l'Université de Harvard, fait le point sur l'acquisition des capacités cognitives dans l'école publique (dominée par les pincipes pégagogistes) et les écoles classiques (désormais privées) où l'on enseigne les disciplines:
The shopping mall high school has been criticized for its limited capacity to enhance student cognitive skills. Two studies comparing public and private schools find that students learn more in nonpublic schools, in part because private schools concentrate student efforts on academic pursuits. Yet the curriculum is only one of many differences between public and nonpublic schools that could account for the superior performance of private school graduates. And few, if any, studies focused exclusively on public schools have convincingly shown that the curriculum has much effect on student cognitive skill.
L'enseignement classique des disciplines développe donc mieux les capacités cognitives que l'école multiactivités centrée sur "l'apprendre à apprendre"
We are not at this time quite prepared to recommend a return to the medieval practice in which students tip professors according to the quality of their lectures and seminars. But we are inclined to endorse John Bishop's suggestion that college admissions be determined by substantive external examinations for which students can prepare by taking academic courses. Bishop found that Canadian students acquired more cognitive skill, if they attended high school in a province that required satisfactory performance on an external examination. He interprets these results by suggesting that students, when confronted by an external examination, have a greater incentive to take more academic courses and to study more assiduously. Our results are entirely consistent with his findings and interpretation.
Our findings come from just one moderate sized Midwestern city. Since the education provided by River City schools seems to be considerably above the average, one cannot conclude from these results that students in all parts of the United States can enhance their cognitive skill simply by taking the more academic courses offered in their high school. Yet the findings should not for that reason be discounted.
The significance of the study is not that it tells us what is happening across the United States. Instead, it tells us what is possible and has, indeed, happened, within a public high school system that serves a fairly diverse social population. If academic course taking can enhance cognitive skill in River City, then cognitive skill is not so immutable that it is beyond school influence. The findings challenge all those who say not much can be done. They challenge all those who say learning is genetically determined or is decisively shaped by the student's family life. They challenge those who think the most that can be done in American education is to construct a shopping mall.
Conclusione: Pour "imparare a imparare", basta imparare!
La lotta contro il pedagogismo negli Stati Uniti:
" Since the 1980's, there have been substantial efforts nation wide to weaken mathematics education in America, and these efforts have largely been successful.
This is not a communist conspiracy. It flows from an honest desire to help the less fortunate. This effort is based on the misguided notion thatweaker mathematics will be helpful to the traditionally disadvantaged groups in our society. It is this effort, curiously known as reform, that is the root cause of what has come to be known as the math wars. (...)"
Sul carattere reazionario delle pedagogie "progressiste":
- When progressiveness leads to backwardness : Une belle argumentation face aux savants fous de l'Union européenne qui veulent remplacer l'éducation par "l'acquisition de compétences": "America’s Achilles’ heel is its schools," I typed when I started this article. Then I deleted the line. realized that the meaning of the phrase "Achilles’ heel" is fading in the United States. Too few Americans have heard of Achilles, or Troy, for the image to be much but a snobby irrelevancy.
My struggle with the phrase tells a lot about what is wrong with American schools. Every year, thousands of 18-year-olds who know nothing about Achilles graduate from American grammar schools and high schools. Neither can they figure percentages or write a grammatical paragraph, let alone script Java. There is a school of thought that says this dumbing down does not matter, that technology and the marvelously flexible American economy will always compensate. Why would a supermarket worker need to know how to type numbers, when bar codes do the job? "
Sulla matematica e la pedagogia dei progetti
Tra gli altri testi interessanti che si possono trovare presso gli oppositori americani alle riforme, vedi :
(D'après les travaux de Michel Delord)Texas Education Consumer Association
The Core Knowledge Fondation: una ridefinizione dei saperi fondamentali
Mountain View Achievement
Le teste d'uovo americane:
- The Brookings Institution publie des prises de position et des débats sur la question de l'éducation: développement du "home scholling", les enjeux pour le pays... toutes les options sont envisagées, bien documenté. Une manière de débattre qui nous est étrangère, mais instructive, des plus libéraux (Center for reinventing public education) qui ont le mérite de dire franchement les choses et d'accepter de débattre de leurs positions, à l' AERA (American Education Research Association) dont il faut lire le rapport annuel 2000. Assez exceptionnel: propose un site en français , Canada oblige.
- Il faut bien sur se pencher sur les charter schools, écoles expérimentales sous contrats à durée déterminée qui sont évaluées sur leurs performances académiques, pour pallier les pannes du système scolaire.
- The Manhattan Institute est le think tank des libéraux radicaux: au programme libre choix de l'école par les parents, "home schooling", évaluation des performances (education reform)