I agree fully point of broken quanta post on studying what teaching methods work and do not work in education.
I also feel the world looks at teaching a little differently than I do. I firmly believe that teaching is the psychological art of manipulating kids into learning. Basically, teaching is one dirty trick after another, with the splendid result of kids actually learning. Things like incentives, random rewards (which have the effect of creating additive behavior), bad cop-good cop, the well known carrot-stick approach, and the speak-softly-but-carry-a-big-stick theory could generate huge changes in the educational system.
My intent was not to expose my education theory, but to comment on comment left on the post:
Brian says, "How would you like it if your bosses told you that you would henceforth be held personally accountable for a bunch of shit that you don't have anything to do with?"
The basic question I fell Brian is proposing is, "Do teachers have anything to do with children learning?"
Obviously they do. For a person to suggest teachers do not influence a child's learning, or what I like to call "teach", would negate the need for having teachers. If teachers do not teach children, why do you need teachers. Brian, in this short quote, seemed to be taking this position, but wasn't really. Brian was taking the position of "teachers as facilitators".
The facilitator argument rides the line in between holding teachers wholly accountable for teaching and not holding them accountable at all. When looking at teacher accountability, there are only two viable options. On argument states that teachers are wholly accountable. Another one says teachers can only "facilitate" learning and are not in control of the myriad factors affecting their children's ability to learn, achievements, and test scores. Still another one is the one which I have ruled out. These three groups are respectively called "wholly accountables", "facilitators", and "illogics".
While the two viable options seem close, the wholly accountables are actually the enemy of the facilitators.
"AFT (American Federation of Teachers) members in every division are increasingly threatened by privatization and contracting out. "
"The National Education Association is strongly opposed to privatization because of the threat that it poses to the quality of education, the accountability of public schools to the communities they serve, and to the well being of children in school."
I have placed these two groups into the facilitator group by ruling out their placement into the illogics and wholly accountables groups. I do not think these above groups belong into the illogics group because that would be borderline evil. The people who support privatization would like to be considered wholly accountables, but upon closer inspection you find that this group may exist theoretically, but not in realality.
If you where to put your child the hands of a private school and your child did not learn, it would be their fault. You could ask for a refund, if they where true wholly accountables. Good luck trying to get your money back. I bet if you did that, the person who wants to be considered a "wholly accountable" would turn into a "facilitator" right before your eyes. It would then be your fault that the kid did not learn or some other random reason.
The only group remaining is the facilitator group. This only difference in the members of this group is the amount of accountability each member believes teachers should have. I tend to favor more and not less accountability in most things and I do not see how teaching is any different.