Bird droppings June 22, 2010
Translating and communicating
“Scientific management is always on guard against people who don’t fit securely into boxes, whether because of too much competency, too much creativity, too much popularity or what have you. Although often hired, it is with the understanding they must be kept on a short leash and regarded warily. The ideal hireling is reflexively obedient, cheerfully enthusiastic about following orders, ever eager to please. Training for this position begins in the first grade with the word, don’t.” John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2010
I went looking for a copy of John Dewey’s Experience and Education yesterday and as I traveled the book stores the only one that was available was a tiny version that old folks like me have a hard time reading and is the one I already have. The new printing is a slightly larger font and much easier to read. While looking for Dewey’s book I found Gatto’s latest endeavor. The subtitle of the book is; A schoolteacher’s journey through the dark world of Compulsory schooling. While a teacher of thirty years Gatto does see the issues that are rampant in education today. Teaching to the test is not just a catch phrase but a method of teaching that literally is being taught to teachers. Here is what is on the test now teach just this.
In about two months I will have students in my class room again. I will be walking down hall ways and talking with students and teachers and I wonder will anything be different than when I left. I wonder if teachers have studied how to be more effective and if students read and became more scholarly over the weeks of summer. Some teachers have attended graduate school and many will have attended leadership training programs teaching them how to better manage teachers and students and move them through the processes of education so that required tests get passed. A few may have opted for philosophy, literature, psychology, social studies or numerous other more liberal arts sort of courses.
“An effective teacher is one who is able to convince not half or three quarters but essentially all of his or her students to do quality work in school.” Dr. William Glasser MD.
Dr. Glasser goes on in his book The Quality School to explain his ideas. I found it interesting one of his first references is to Dr. W. Edwards Deming who revolutionized industry in Japan. A US quality expert who US industry barely recognized was contracted with by the Japanese to improve quality and in a few short years they over took and surpassed US industry in production as well as in quality. I can recall only a few years ago when a certain US car company used the slogan of “Quality is job 1”. A good view of quality is resale value of cars and trucks. Amazing how nearly all of top ten best resale vehicles are Japanese.
“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” Dale Carnegie
Carnegie provides a quick guide to life for teachers, parents, students, and children. I have always felt example is the key, in almost any aspect of life. I wish it were not so but how we look and or are perceived is often how we are judged first in life. What we say can affect those around us and how they determine whether or not to believe us or not and always how we say it. What do we mean, looking at Carnegie’s words I wonder if some where there is more to communication?
“A world community can exist only with world communication, which means something more than extensive short-wave facilities scattered; about the globe. It means common understanding, a common tradition, common ideas, and common ideals.” Robert M. Hutchins
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins
Nearly opposite yet both hold elements needed but in order for people to communicate around the world even in another town a common language a common set of words and ideas is needed to initiate thoughts. It is also knowing that each person may see the world different and be able to work around that and through that.
“The higher you go, the wider spreads the network of communication that will make or break you. It extends not only to more people below, but to new levels above. And it extends all around, to endless other departments and interests interacting with yours.” Donald Walton
I went by Wal-Mart yesterday looking for a very specific item a movie my son and I wanted to watch, no luck, but as we were walking out he and I had both been thinking the same thought. This store was a mini mall for this community, people were just shopping, walking about looking, every where. Wal-Mart had become a focal point for this town. I had been to a Wal-Mart Sam’s club recently talking with a manager and other staff. There is a network of communication.
As I sit here going back through my morning writing I have used many icons of industry as featured quotes. I started using a quote from an educator who implicates industry as a culprit in this methodical process of education we now have. Creating workers yet each of the industrial leader’s quotes does not imply that. Yesterday as I emailed back and forth with several friends we discussed building a network of teachers and working that network, wouldn’t that build a powerful teaching tool. What a bout a parent network where issues could be in the open immediately and clarified and discussed rather than become a sore and fester. Communications such a crucial item in today’s fast paced world and so over looked. Today is a day where a week is nearly over please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.