New Teaching Models



I read a very interesting interview done to Professor Roger Schank. In it, he says that schools teach “stupid things like mathematics”. But he doesn’t stop here; he proceeds by saying that literature and history should be abolished too. My “favourite” part is when Professor Schank implies that grammar is a waste of time; since one “learns the language by speaking and making speeches”. According to him, the rules of grammar are already there, unconsciously.

Mathematics
If Prof. Schank would tell me that we need to review the level of math taught in schools, I’d agree with him. (I don’t know how math is taught in your country but in Portugal kids, in Junior High and High School, learn a college level math – no wonder they don’t understand it, and end up by not liking it).
However I cannot, I will not, agree that this science is stupid; for it is not. Math teaches us to reason, to think, to form a logical platform in our mind – how can this stupid?

Literature & History
If we do not understand our past, how can we better accept our present? For example, the Muslim world doesn’t understand its historic past, it hasn’t made peace with its past and thus it accepts not its present – is this what Prof. Schank wishes for the Western world?
Furthermore without history there’s no identity, no sense of belonging, no pride.
Now, why attack literature? Kids are not supposed to read either? How are they to learn how to write, how to properly speak, how to focus? Perhaps Prof. Schank suggests kids to read Playboy, Playgirl, sports magazines and newspapers only...

Unconscious grammar
Utter rubbish. Neo-Portuguese is the biggest proof of this statement: people do not conjugate properly the verbs any longer. They ignore what a conjunction means, they know not how to define and classify words, and this is reflected in the poor speech uttered by the people from North to South. Ah, and by instinct they counterfeit words as well – it’s an ear sore.

Do we need new teaching models? Yes, we do. But let’s be careful about irresponsible, and fallacious, speeches in order to achieve reforms.


Image: Night School by Gerrit Dou

Comments

  1. I shudder to think that anyone might take this professor seriously. Innate ability for grammar? Absurd! In fact, I think if they stop teaching this in schools, our language will eventually morph in to something unintelligible!

    I take just the opposite approach. I feel we don't teach our children enough! Just look at children in Asia who are pushed much harder than children in the States. They are pushed harder, but they also excel further than American children.

    Years from now, that professor won't even be remembered for his silly ideas.

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  2. I immediately deduced that he didn't teach any of the subjects that he criticized. But then checking the link it seems that his field is AI - Artificial Intelligence, but starting from a psychology framework.

    All this reminds me that AI is also an acronym for Artificial Incompetence, which is much more easily achieved than Artificial Intelligence!

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  3. Grammar and logical thinking are skills needed daily! How can someone think they should not be taught?

    If you don't know grammar, you can't express yourself. How sad...

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  4. I, too, disagree with what the Professor said. Gee...that's just too much and WAYYYY out of line!

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  5. Max:

    You have asked many questions in this post, excellent questions. And you have drawn many conclusions in this post, excellent conclusions. But in the heart of the post where you say that "Neo-Portuguese is the biggest proof of this statement..." I think you should substitute Portuguese with, "the rest of the world," because we are all in the same boat when it comes to education: literacy, mathematics, science, basket weaving, you name it. Some of the teachers and professors we have over hear seemed to have come right out of the Dark Ages, or, worse yet, the paleolithic period. They're nothing but a pack of grunting groaners. And I agree with you, it's a big ear sore. By the way, this professor you write of, whomever, is a colossal ass.

    Happy trails, or maybe the professor would be all right with me signing, Happy trales!

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  6. By golly, Max, I'm sure glad I don't know that man. Is he an anarchist? I will have to click on that link to read about him.

    We need clear and consistent "laws" of language when we agree to abide by a structure with which to communicate.

    I think all the world would be so much better off if they would get off the couches or out of the alleys, and pay some attention to academics. Language skills, among them.

    The subjects of your posts are always right on spot, Max, asking excellent and important questions.

    I've been thinking of you.

    xxxx Lynda

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  7. PS - the painting you chose to go with this post is wonderful....

    good taste, my dear.

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  8. Children need grammar to grasp communication skills; they need math to reason logically thus understand their own environment.
    If the knowledge is acquired on an early stage, it will be for the better. Besides, an old dog doesn't learn tricks.

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  9. Hey D! :D

    "In fact, I think if they stop teaching this in schools, our language will eventually morph in to something unintelligible!"

    I totally agree with you!

    "I take just the opposite approach. I feel we don't teach our children enough! Just look at children in Asia who are pushed much harder than children in the States. They are pushed harder, but they also excel further than American children."

    Asian kids excell further than any kid in the world, I think: they are brilliant because they are kept busy learning more hours than our kids, on this part of the world, are. We should follow the good example.

    "Years from now, that professor won't even be remembered for his silly ideas."

    I hope so, I really hope so.

    D, thanks a million for your superb comment :D!

    Cheers

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  10. Hi Looney :D!

    "I immediately deduced that he didn't teach any of the subjects that he criticized. But then checking the link it seems that his field is AI - Artificial Intelligence, but starting from a psychology framework."

    That was my first thought as well...but then I went to check his record...

    "All this reminds me that AI is also an acronym for Artificial Incompetence, which is much more easily achieved than Artificial Intelligence!"

    ROFL ROFL ROFL that was a good one, a very good one indeed LOL *nodding*.

    Looney, thank you ever so much for your input (loved it) :D!

    Cheers

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  11. Hi Zhu :D!

    "Grammar and logical thinking are skills needed daily! How can someone think they should not be taught?"

    Absolutely! I don't know, Zhu...I can't understand what went through this professor's mind *nodding*...

    "If you don't know grammar, you can't express yourself. How sad..."

    You are 100% correct! Sad indeed...

    Zhu, thank you so much for your input :D!

    Cheers

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  12. Hxl,

    As much as I appreciate your presence here, I really do not need a marketeer; but thanks anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Amel :D!

    "I, too, disagree with what the Professor said. Gee...that's just too much and WAYYYY out of line!"

    I hear you!

    Gorgeous, thank you so much for your input :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Swu :D!

    "You have asked many questions in this post, excellent questions. And you have drawn many conclusions in this post, excellent conclusions."

    Thank you so much *bowing*!

    "But in the heart of the post where you say that "Neo-Portuguese is the biggest proof of this statement..." I think you should substitute Portuguese with, "the rest of the world," because we are all in the same boat when it comes to education: literacy, mathematics, science, basket weaving, you name it. Some of the teachers and professors we have over hear seemed to have come right out of the Dark Ages, or, worse yet, the paleolithic period. They're nothing but a pack of grunting groaners. And I agree with you, it's a big ear sore."

    I can only talk about what I know for sure, Swu. I wasn't sure the same happened around the world so I spoke of Neo-Portuguese.
    But from what you are telling me the situation around the world is as bad as here, and this disappoints me *nodding*. Last week, our precious socialist government announced that it intends to ban "flunking"...can you imagine the dreadful consequences of this decision? Have people gone mad?

    "By the way, this professor you write of, whomever, is a colossal ass."

    lol....

    "Happy trails, or maybe the professor would be all right with me signing, Happy trales!"

    ROFL ROFL "Happy trales" LOL...that was a good one!

    Swu, a superb comment for which I thank you ever so much :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Lynda :D!

    "By golly, Max, I'm sure glad I don't know that man. Is he an anarchist?"

    LOL he may very well be an anarchist, who knows? Wouldn't be the first!

    "We need clear and consistent "laws" of language when we agree to abide by a structure with which to communicate."

    Absolutely!

    "I think all the world would be so much better off if they would get off the couches or out of the alleys, and pay some attention to academics. Language skills, among them."

    I totally agree with you, darling. But it seems like the world doesn't give a damn about language skills any longer, which is sad *nodding*. Imagine a world language-decayed...now imagine the sort of laws that would be written: disastrous!

    "The subjects of your posts are always right on spot, Max, asking excellent and important questions."

    Why, thank you, Lynda *bowing*! That means a lot to me :D.

    "I've been thinking of you."

    Aww, darling...same here, same here :D!

    Lynda, thank you ever so much for your fantastic comment :D!

    Cheers

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  16. Lynda,

    "PS - the painting you chose to go with this post is wonderful....good taste, my dear."

    It is gorgeous, isn't it? Thank you *bowing*...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Dux :D!

    Oh my God, it is so good to see you back here! I missed you :D!!

    "Children need grammar to grasp communication skills; they need math to reason logically thus understand their own environment."

    *nodding in utter agreement*...

    "If the knowledge is acquired on an early stage, it will be for the better. Besides, an old dog doesn't learn tricks."

    Of course, of course! lol nooo, an old dog doesn't learn tricks lol...

    Dux, thank you so much for this superb comment :D! It's good to have you back!

    Cheers

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  18. Math (even if it's my least favorite, lol) and language are very much a part of our everyday lives.

    I was sick lats week, the whole family actually. My daughter came home sneezing, she probably got it in school. The next day we were all sick. But we're all ok now. ;)

    I wish you a wonderful week sweetie!

    *hugs*

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  19. Hi Liza :D!

    "Math (even if it's my least favorite, lol) and language are very much a part of our everyday lives."

    Certainly!

    "I was sick lats week, the whole family actually. My daughter came home sneezing, she probably got it in school. The next day we were all sick. But we're all ok now. ;)"

    I am so sorry to hear that, darling :(! I am glad you are all ok now (thank God)!

    "I wish you a wonderful week sweetie!"

    Thanks, and I wish you a healthy week as well ;).

    *Hugs*

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  20. Hi Max!

    Education, culture and behaviour are not innate qualities; they are a part of a learning process thus the early age is of the essence.
    Grammar is an important tool for once one understands the power of the verb, the world will seem the place to interact with. Math is vital for, in life, most of times one's self conduct and intellectual growth depend on quantifying; hence the training must be implemented on first perceptions.

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  21. Hi Max,

    You certainly lit a fire under this topic!

    As I read your piece here I thought “Schank must come from a psychology background” and of course he does…this weak sister of a “science” frequently does not like the solid sciences…or anything that requires solid rules such as science, math or grammar…

    Math is often attacked as it is exacting, there is no poetic license with truth in math…although many try…

    Literature and history are attacked because they must be re-written in the image of the denier…

    “Unconscious grammar” is good if you want an illiterate population…

    These ideas are so preposterous I am sure they will gain the ascendancy…

    The ideas presented by Schank fit nicely with postmodernist thought…no longer do we seek truth but deny its existence…

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  22. Hi Max;

    Good morning...I found this beautiful and awesome blog of yours through Sabi Sunshine!

    Reading from your last post, I like your point of view there...I am from the Philippines and am happy to share that Filipino kids have a good foundation in math, science, English, literature and history but in spite of that, they still sometimes lag behind other asian countries.

    Now what this Prof. Schank must be thinking is some kind of an off-tune assessment...I am not with him either like you do!

    Let us be vigilant about this dilemma, for the sake of our children and the coming generations.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

    You've got a new follower in me now...:)))

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi C.C :D!

    "Education, culture and behaviour are not innate qualities; they are a part of a learning process thus the early age is of the essence."

    I totally agree.

    "Grammar is an important tool for once one understands the power of the verb, the world will seem the place to interact with."

    Yes!

    "Math is vital for, in life, most of times one's self conduct and intellectual growth depend on quantifying; hence the training must be implemented on first perceptions."

    Absolutely!

    C.C, amazing comment for which I thank you immensely :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi LSus :D!

    "You certainly lit a fire under this topic!"

    LOL...in your eyes, don't I always?

    "As I read your piece here I thought “Schank must come from a psychology background” and of course he does…this weak sister of a “science” frequently does not like the solid sciences…or anything that requires solid rules such as science, math or grammar…"

    I hear you. So, you are not friends with psychology, eh?

    "Math is often attacked as it is exacting, there is no poetic license with truth in math…although many try…"

    So far it is exacting, yes. But who knows...in the future a genius may come and change things *shrugging*.

    "Literature and history are attacked because they must be re-written in the image of the denier…"

    *nodding in agreement*...

    "“Unconscious grammar” is good if you want an illiterate population…"

    LOL right on!

    "These ideas are so preposterous I am sure they will gain the ascendancy…"

    Some already support this stupidity here in Europe (where Professor Schank works, by the way. He lives in Paris, trying to convince the French of the brilliancy of his plan. And I think he also operates in Barcelona...).

    "The ideas presented by Schank fit nicely with postmodernist thought…no longer do we seek truth but deny its existence…"

    It's easier to deny its existence than actually seeking for it: it's too much work.

    LSus, superb comment for which I thank you :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Amity :D!

    Welcome to the MAX experience :D!

    "Good morning...I found this beautiful and awesome blog of yours through Sabi Sunshine!"

    Oh, yes...Sabi Sunshine is lovely! I must thank her for your visit :D.

    "Reading from your last post, I like your point of view there...I am from the Philippines and am happy to share that Filipino kids have a good foundation in math, science, English, literature and history but in spite of that, they still sometimes lag behind other asian countries."

    So they do, indeed. Lagging behind or not, they are more advanced than kids in Europe due to the time they invest in their studies.

    "Now what this Prof. Schank must be thinking is some kind of an off-tune assessment...I am not with him either like you do!"

    I am not sure he is thinking properly at all...

    "Let us be vigilant about this dilemma, for the sake of our children and the coming generations."

    Agreed.

    "Thanks for sharing this post!"

    Thank YOU for reading it *bowing*!

    "You've got a new follower in me now...:)))"

    Why, thank you: I am honoured :).

    Amity, thank you so much for having dropped by and left such an amazing comment :D.

    Cheers

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  26. Max, my dear


    I feel that there is wrong sense of reality...I need MATH, HISTORY, ETC

    Didn´t u?
    Grace Olsson

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  27. Hello Grace :D!

    Welcome to this side of my Blogging experience ;)!

    Yes, I do need Math, History and Grammar; just like we all do. This professor wanted to stir things a bit I think (can only be)...*nodding*.

    Darling, thank you so much for your input :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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