Sunday, June 14, 2015


June 12, I posted a screed about changes in medical education on this blog. The thrust of that article was the increasing burden modern science has placed on veterinarians and physicians. Scientific discovery has dumped new information on these professions at such an ever-increasing rate they could no longer cope with the burden. Medical colleges are responding—slowly to be sure—in a surprising way. They are teaching less and less basic science and shifting to teaching more and more clinical application of this new knowledge, which is a shift from the didactic approach of the 20th century to an apprenticeship approach of the 18th and 19th century. I view this as a huge shift in the entire field of medical education. A shift of veterinarian and physician professional, who clients expected to know it all, to nurses who were they are expected to do it all. Myriad specialists with Ph.D. degrees are stepping in to fill the void. What should be obvious is that the same thing that happened in medical educations is happening at all level of education. However, in general education, we do not have this option; regardless of what grades they teach, increasing the body of knowledge is burdening teachers with it all. More and more knowledge is burdening teachers without the option of increasing class time. We seem to have, but one option; technology but it obviously is going to take more. I have no idea of what the answer might be. The founders of this discussion group set their sights on a solution, which is technology in education. Older teachers like me, are reluctant to give up our tired and true methods even though we see what we are doing crumbling around us. The evidence is overwhelming as we see it in the form of more homework than schoolwork, greater demand from industry for trained workers in an expanding number of fields, and obvious failure of our students to succeed in class work shown by dropout rates and graduation rates. There can be no clearer example of our failure than trying to learn how to operate a computer program by reading a technical description written by a product of our school system. English teachers are wrong when they refuse to believe a computer can teach students grammar and spelling, math teacher refuse to allow students to use calculators, and social studies teacher tell students not to watch TV. I am a citizen of a country where the people speak five different languages principally Spanish and English; however, the official language is English. After TV, broadcast first appeared the quality of spoken English in the villages markedly improved. The main programs people watched were soap operas (women) and baseball games (men). As teachers, we have to rethink what we are doing and how we are doing it. Of course, we have to take into consideration our true world situation; we may be in a country where computers not available or are available to very few in society. Nonetheless, having a computer loaded with Microsoft Word and Grammarley programs is better that having an English teacher at your side every time you write anything—I do intend to say anything written on the computer. It is always there. Ask yourself, how much material do you write by hand? Should you be spending inordinate amounts of time teaching penmanship? Recently, an English teacher sent me an 800-word essay she felt was the work of a budding novelist, who happened to be one of her advanced students. I loaded the text into the Grammarley program and that program informed me there were 22 errors in grammar; in other words, there was one error per each 10% of the program. I am not an English teacher. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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