Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A little black book students shouldn't need

Janet Albrechsen gives her thoughts on the Little Black Schoolbook.

One of his Year 12 students was asked to do a research essay on Lenin’s New Economic Policy. His first draft was a well-researched, well-argued essay that received a C. Lopez told his student to go back to his notes, work out his teacher’s understanding of the topic and then redraft the essay to omit everything that differed from his teacher’s opinions. The teacher awarded the redraft an A grade.
There shouldn't be a need for a guide for students like this.

Comments worth a look, too.


Steve at the Pub said...

My sisters are all schoolteachers.
All are sheep. One is able to think, thus is a sheep purely out of career necessity.

The thinker spent all of her uni time turning "party" into a verb, to the total neglect of studies.

Routinely I would get a phone call at 10pm "Oh my god, I have to produce an x-thousand word essay by tomorrow on.. [rustle, rustle] the KGB" (for an art teacher course there was - to me - a curious focus on communist stuff. Also this was when the iron curtain still stood)

While she utilised pubs & parties, with a university, big city & fantastic library on hand at her disposal. I who ran away from school at 15, with a day of branding behind me, a boss who would greet a dayglight start with "what kept you?" & only the reading matter found on a cattle station, would then scrawl out something during the night, phone back to read it out (this before fax machines) & wonder if she would pay me via inside access to hot uni chicks or something worthwhile like that.

Initially (out of sheer relief) she would accept anything, especially as I was "passing" the course for her. But as we grew more experienced I got requests to not write so much "real stuff" about how communism operated, & to tone down the positive slant I was putting on things like Joh Bjelke's premiership, to ease up on the negative I was putting on things like Whitlam, etc etc.

The climax came with a 55-minute talk each had to give on "teacher stress". I wrote 55 minutes on what at the time was our recession-wracked nation in which people were losing houses, their life savings, business which represented a lifetime of scrimping & saving & so on, while teachers were innoculated against this & how stress-free would be a life where the public purse guaranteed payment each week of a fat wage & how good it would be to be in a position from which even incompetence was not grounds for sacking.

This talk went over quite flat, it was the stoniest 55-minutes of icy silence the uni had apparently ever seen. I got a quite a low mark for it, but couldn't be failed because it WAS on-topic, and most importantly, it WAS 55-minutes.

After that she woke up from parties long enough to notice that politics was more important for good marks than proficiency or understanding & grasp of subject material or competence as a prospective teacher.

My inability to adjust my essays accordingly led to my sacking *phew* from my informal post as ersatz-student teacher.

kae said...

Well done, SATP.

It's like when a friend asked to borrow a jacket of mine which I didn't want her to wear.

"It's nice. Does my bum look big in this?" she asked.

"Well... hmmmmm...." I replied.

I've never seen a jacket taken off so quickly in all my life.