published on 10/10/06: http://www.nysun.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor-2006-10-10/41215/
Andrew Wolf states [Op-ed, "The Spin Doctors," September 29-October 1, 2006], "This prevalent teaching methodology is the common thread that directs our national march to mediocrity."
At almost the end of my thirty-four year long teaching career, I was directed to change the seating arrangement in my classroom from rows to groups, develop an atmosphere of "productive noise," and construct mini-lessons. The new "balanced literacy" model was filled with layered components and the classroom was mandated to be have visual and heady appeal.
A student shortly pleaded to "go back to the old way of learning," which was a more no-frills and basic textbook approach. I discussed this with my supervisor, and I was told it was my fault my students didn't like the new style. I had not properly motivated the students or successfully implemented the model. The whole system has become like scenes in "Alice Through the Looking Glass."