Prologue
Professional Standards in Education
2004

The article Professional Standards in Education makes the case that the field of education is not accountable, although there are professional standards in areas that have a lot in common with education, like psychology. There are professional standards for psychologists—sensible rules for what psychologists do and don't do. Why aren't there any for education? Why does the field persist in using ineffective criteria for adopting programs and evaluating published educational products? No DI program has ever been adopted in any of California's regular adoption cycle. Why is that?

Part of the problem is that textbook adoptions are high-ticket items, with billions of dollars changing hands. In other fields there is controlled obsolescence. I had cookware with Teflon finishes that lasted over 20 years without showing serious signs of wear. I had other cookware that is less than two years old and has no no-stick finish left.

Education goes a step farther, however. It has uncontrolled obsolescence. Imagine having to update reading programs every seven years. Why? Have kids changed so much that we must fine-tune the programs to their current unique sensitivities? For books that deal with "current events" current revisions are necessary. But face it: The driving force behind all the seven-year adoptions is economic. It is enormously profitable for those publishers who are widely adopted.

The field of education will continue to do things that are cruel and demonstrably damaging to kids until it establishes some form of true accountability for the performance of teachers and kids. A huge part of that accountability has to do with controlling how much experimentation is permitted with human subjects. The field has already raped millions of kids through whole language. Now the field is slowly getting its act together in reading but espouses math programs that are little more than cruel and unusual punishment.

The field needs more than information. It needs meticulous control over the manner in which it permits instructional programs to be developed, disseminated, and adopted. It needs sensible standards. The current Common Core Standards are not a model of such standards. Go to article.

 

 

 

 

Featured Video

Kindergarteners Showing Off Their Math Skills 1966 Uncut demonstration of at-risk children who were taught math by Zig Engelmann as four year olds and five year olds. The session was filmed in front of a class of college students in August with no rehearsal. Children work addition, subtraction, multiplication, division problems, basic algebra problems, fraction problems, area problems, factoring, and simple simultaneous equations.

Watercolors by Zig



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October 2017
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