The Culmination of Progressive Education

by Linda Szugyi | February 3rd, 2014

Readability

The Culmination of Progressive Education

Last week was made more excit­ing by another grenade lobbed in Da Mommy Wars: I Look Down on Young Women with Hus­bands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry. For some right­eous indig­na­tion as a response, click here. For mock­ery, click here. The arti­cle itself was so over the top it fairly screamed click-​bait.

The author has already writ­ten a follow-​up post, “In Defense of Trolling.” In it, she explains that trolling is good because Socrates, Jesus, and Mar­tin Luther did it. And that trolling “com­bines the act of hav­ing an unpop­u­lar opin­ion with the skill of incen­tiviz­ing peo­ple to engage with it.” It encour­ages dia­logue.

Encour­age­ment of adver­tis­ing rev­enue through increased page views is surely an inci­den­tal by-​product. It’s all about the dia­logue.

We are liv­ing in an unse­ri­ous culture.

Really, I don’t much mind the fact that some peo­ple say ridicu­lous and/​or inflam­ma­tory things in order to get atten­tion and/​or make a liv­ing. The prob­lem is, this appears to be a per­fect exam­ple of the kind of young adult our pro­gres­sive edu­ca­tion sys­tem actu­ally creates.

I am almost done read­ing The Story-​Killers: A Common-​Sense Case Against the Com­mon Core. Com­mon Core itself may not have been stamped on her books at school, but nev­er­mind. Com­mon Core doesn’t invent bad teach­ing; it just stan­dard­izes it.

Things were bad enough in aught-​diggity-​six, when I was in school. If you are older but not yet old, you might remem­ber the drill: teach­ers made stu­dents read excerpts of var­i­ous lit­er­a­ture, often aloud, in turns. Sure, most peo­ple droned on ter­ri­bly. Sure, we had to find the plot and the cli­max and the fore­shad­ow­ing and the, oh, I don’t know, char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and main idea, or some such.

Sure, there was the instruc­tion to com­pare the story to mod­ern life or what­ever. It always seemed con­trived and just lame. There was always one ques­tion in every exer­cise that was so stu­pid it made me angry to even have to read it, let alone answer it.

Things are worse now.

Ter­rence O. Moore ana­lyzed a Com­mon Core-​aligned, high school lit­er­a­ture text­book. It has sev­en­teen pages devoted to Mary Shelley’s Franken­stein, and not a sin­gle bit of the actual novel is included in those sev­en­teen pages.

They do get to read, and pos­si­bly act out, a Sat­ur­day Night Live par­ody of Franken­stein. And they get to com­plete a brain­storm­ing activ­ity about mod­ern urban myths. Does that count as lit­er­ary analy­sis? I’ll let Mr. Moore explain, as he does a bet­ter job than I can:

My wife, the for­mer Eng­lish teacher who rec­og­nizes pre­tense when she sees it, took one look at these pages and put it very sim­ply: ‘They (the edi­tors) are requir­ing stu­dents to have opin­ions on some­thing they know noth­ing about.’ Who needs to read and learn from Franken­stein, or any other book for that mat­ter, when a per­son can just spout off in pseudo-​intellectual jar­gon – and never be called to account because no one else has read the book? The pro­duc­tion of such opin­ions in unin­formed young peo­ple leads to hubris and intel­lec­tual dis­hon­esty.” The Story-​Killers, page 177 (bold­ing mine).

I’m all about intel­lec­tual hon­esty. I haven’t read much of any­thing about Socrates. But I’m pretty sure the use of his work to ratio­nal­ize provo­ca­tion for provocation’s sake is pseudo-​intellectual jar­gon. And when some­one is not a young wife and mother her­self, she might be rather unin­formed in her opin­ion about it.

Hubris? That seems to be a defin­ing qual­ity. How about intel­lec­tual dis­hon­esty? Take this pas­sage for exam­ple:

Hav­ing an opin­ion doesn’t mean you think it is right or that you are smarter than other peo­ple, it is a vehi­cle towards truth that only works when you engage with others.”

Um. How hon­est is it, really, to claim that you are engag­ing with peo­ple when you “looked down” on them in the very title of that sup­posed engage­ment? Or dia­logue. Or whatever.

Wel­come to the cul­mi­na­tion of pro­gres­sive edu­ca­tion, folks. You’ve just met one of its products.

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[olimome­ter id=3]

It’s Mon­day and this week’s pay­check sits at $12.

This doesn’t bode well for my plans to add more writ­ers in the long term but in the short term it cer­tainly doesn’t do any good for pay­ing the mortgage.

13 tip jar hits as $25 will change all that, care to be one of them?

If so then Hit DaTip­Jar below.

Only 55 34 more sub­scribers @ at $20 a month are nec­es­sary to secure the cost of DaM­ag­nif­i­cent Seven & my monthly mort­gage on a per­ma­nent basis. If you think blogs like this will­ing to high­light the dou­ble stan­dard of the Democ­rats & media online & on radio are worth it, please con­sider sub­scrib­ing and sug­gest­ing a friend do so as well.

Beanie : $2.00USD — week­ly­Cap : $10.00USD — month­ly­Hat : $20.00USD — month­lyFe­dora : $25.00USD — month­ly­Grand Fedora : $100.00USD — monthly

Last week was made more exciting by another grenade lobbed in Da Mommy Wars:  I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry.  For some righteous indignation as a response, click here.  For mockery, click here.  The article itself was so over the top it fairly screamed click-bait.

The author has already written a follow-up post, “In Defense of Trolling.”  In it, she explains that trolling is good because Socrates, Jesus, and Martin Luther did it.   And that trolling “combines the act of having an unpopular opinion with the skill of incentivizing people to engage with it.”  It encourages dialogue.

Encouragement of advertising revenue through increased page views is surely an incidental by-product.  It’s all about the dialogue.

We are living in an unserious culture.

Really, I don’t much mind the fact that some people say ridiculous and/or inflammatory things in order to get attention and/or make a living.  The problem is, this appears to be a perfect example of the kind of young adult our progressive education system actually creates.

I am almost done reading The Story-Killers:  A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core.  Common Core itself may not have been stamped on her books at school, but nevermind.  Common Core doesn’t invent bad teaching; it just standardizes it.

Things were bad enough in aught-diggity-six, when I was in school. If you are older but not yet old, you might remember the drill:  teachers made students read excerpts of various literature, often aloud, in turns.  Sure, most people droned on terribly.  Sure, we had to find the plot and the climax and the foreshadowing and the, oh, I don’t know, characterization and main idea, or some such.

Sure, there was the instruction to compare the story to modern life or whatever.  It always seemed contrived and just lame.  There was always one question in every exercise that was so stupid it made me angry to even have to read it, let alone answer it.

Things are worse now.

Terrence O. Moore analyzed a Common Core-aligned, high school literature textbook.  It has seventeen pages devoted to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and not a single bit of the actual novel is included in those seventeen pages.

They do get to read, and possibly act out, a Saturday Night Live parody of Frankenstein.  And they get to complete a brainstorming activity about modern urban myths.  Does that count as literary analysis?  I’ll let Mr. Moore explain, as he does a better job than I can:

“My wife, the former English teacher who recognizes pretense when she sees it, took one look at these pages and put it very simply:  ‘They (the editors) are requiring students to have opinions on something they know nothing about.’  Who needs to read and learn from Frankenstein, or any other book for that matter, when a person can just spout off in pseudo-intellectual jargon–and never be called to account because no one else has read the book?  The production of such opinions in uninformed young people leads to hubris and intellectual dishonesty.”  The Story-Killers, page 177 (bolding mine).

I’m all about intellectual honesty.  I haven’t read much of anything about Socrates.  But I’m pretty sure the use of his work to rationalize provocation for provocation’s sake is pseudo-intellectual jargon.  And when someone is not a young wife and mother herself, she might be rather uninformed in her opinion about it.

Hubris?  That seems to be a defining quality.  How about intellectual dishonesty?  Take this passage for example:

“Having an opinion doesn’t mean you think it is right or that you are smarter than other people, it is a vehicle towards truth that only works when you engage with others.”

Um.  How honest is it, really, to claim that you are engaging with people when you “looked down” on them in the very title of that supposed engagement?  Or dialogue.  Or whatever.

Welcome to the culmination of progressive education, folks.  You’ve just met one of its products.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday and this week’s paycheck sits at $12.

This doesn’t bode well for my plans to add more writers in the long term but in the short term it certainly doesn’t do any good for paying the mortgage.

13 tip jar hits as $25 will change all that, care to be one of them?

If so then Hit DaTipJar below.

Only 55 3/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of DaMagnificent Seven & my monthly mortgage on a permanent basis. If you think blogs like this willing to highlight the double standard of the Democrats & media online & on radio are worth it, please consider subscribing and suggesting a friend do so as well.

Beanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD – monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthly

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