Rgs 022013
 

Toks tikėjimas yra būdingas pietų korėjiečiams, suomiams ir lenkams, – teigia knygos The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way autorė Amanda Ripley.  Gal būt tokį tikėjimą galima būtų pavadinti nacionalinio charakterio bruožu, kuris padeda Pietų Korėjos ir Suomijos moksleiviams būti vienais iš geriausių tarptautiniuose vertinimuose, o Lenkija (taip pat gal būt) dėka šio bruožo vis dažniau pripažįstama  daranti reikšmingą pažangą švietime.

Komentuodamas šią knygą Danielas Willinghamas pažymi keletą kitų bruožų būdingų švietimo sistemai, kuri vertina griežtą akademinį darbą. Jei mokymasis mokykloje yra vaiko galimybių išbandymas, tai nesėkmių gali pasitaikyti dažniau negu sėkmių (prisiminkime, kad mūsų švietimo politikos požiūriu kiekvienas vaikas turi patirti sėkmę). Tokiu atveju nesėkmė mokymosi procese yra natūralus mokymąsi skatinantis dalykas, o ne  priežastis nusivylimui.  Kitas tokios švietimo sistemos bruožas yra tas, kad  mokytojai šioje sistemoje turi būti kruopščiai atrenkami ir labai gerai paruošiami (natūralu, kad žemą lygi palaikyti pakanka žemo lygio mokytojų). Nenuostabu, kad tokioje sistemoje mokytojo profesija turi didelį autoritetą ir gerai apmokama.

Danielas Willinhgamas, kaip ir knygos autorė Amanda Ripley, svarsto apie amerikos švietimos sistemą. Manau, kad jų išvados naudingos ir mums lietuviams, nes mūsų švietimos sistema grindžiama siekiu mokymąsi padaryti tik malonumą suteikiančia veikla. Tokia paradigma gali būti grindžiama prielaida, kad mokymasis yra natūralus, įgimtas ir neišvengiamas kognityvinis procesas. Todėl jis turėtų būti lengvai pasiekiamas vaikui, o tai prieštarauja Ripley knygos išvadoms.

Nėra būtina laikytis kraštutinumų:  sunkus darbas arba malonumas. Galima būtų siekti suderinti šias priešingybes, nors tai ir labai sunku. Bet tai, ką mes darome su savo švietimo sistema visiškai nesuprantama. Ginčijamės dėl antraeilių ar trečiaeilių dalykų, o bendrojo ugdymo programoje nustatytą mokymo turinį paliekame plaukti pasroviui.

Be Danielo Willinghamo, rugpjūčio mėnesį pasirodžiusi Ripley knyga taip pat recenzuota leidiniuose: The EconomistThe New York TimesUSA TodayThe Daily BeastUS News and World Report ir gal būt daugelyje kitų leidinių.

P.S.  Mano pasirodė vertais dėmesio keletas ištraukų iš čia paminėtų tekstų.

We should stop throwing tax dollars at school sports programs and at gadgets like interactive white boards and iPads for every child.

While few of us would want to subject our children to South Korea’s insane levels of testing stress, that nation at least shows kids that academic achievement is valued. On the morning of the national college entrance exam, the stock market opens an hour late, to clear the roads for 600,000 nervous students. Younger kids line up outside schools to cheer as their peers enter to take the nine-hour test. The scene, Ripley observes, is “like boxers entering a ring for a fight.”

In the U.S., federal incentives have created huge new business for corporate test makers, with annual standardized testing in reading and math, and a new generation of yearly exams in science, social studies, and even art and music. The quality of these tests varies greatly from district to district and state to state. They have few consequences for students, since they are intended mostly to collect data for evaluating teachers and administrators. In Poland, however, another country intent on creating a more accountable school system, children are tested only three times: at the end of elementary school, middle school, and high school. The tests are created by the national government and are identical for every student who takes them.

In all of these nations, sports have little or nothing to do with public schooling. If kids want to play hockey or basketball, they organize pick-up games, join a community program, or take private lessons. Children are held to high academic expectations and allowed to fail, so they come to understand the importance of school.

Ripley believes that compared with their counterparts abroad, too many American educators rely on poverty as an excuse for poor student achievement. Indeed, a large body of research shows that teachers who hold high expectations for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, get better results. At a Finnish school, Ripley interviews a teacher who articulates this way of thinking. “I don’t want to have too much empathy for them,” he says of his immigrant students, “because I have to teach. If I thought about all of this too much, I would give better marks to them for worse work. I’d think, ‘Oh you poor kid. Oh, well, what can I do?’ That would make my job too easy.
Ripley found several characteristics in these countries’ schools that may explain why U.S. performance has been lagging for so long.
First, most of these countries are “old school” in their approach to education. While discussions in the U.S. hover around the need for more Internet connectivity, adding Smart Boards in classrooms and the merits of differentiated learning through one-to-one online instruction, Ripley’s exchange students found that none of the high-performing countries have invested in these newfound tools.

Second, these countries spend a considerable amount for pre-service training to prepare teachers for the classroom.

Third, students in high-performing countries are much more serious about education than their American counterparts

Parents in these countries are more involved in their children’s education. Unlike the U.S., where parental involvement often means the number of times you attend parent teacher conferences, raise money for your school, volunteer at your school or attend sporting events (think “Friday Night Lights“), in high-performing countries parents spend time (and money) after school to supplement their child’s education. As Ripley pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, South Korean families invest $14 billion per year on after-school tutoring, while U.S. families spend $15 billion per year on video games.

Galiausiai galima pamatyti efektingą Amanda Ripley video pristatymas.

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