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Kerry Hempenstall flags up Englemann's & Slavin's words

 
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:54 pm    Post subject: Kerry Hempenstall flags up Englemann's & Slavin's words Reply with quote

Kerry Hempenstall flags up Zig Englemann's words on a discussion forum - and as this has so much resonance with me - and what I firmly believe - I thought I would copy to the PI forum:

Quote:
A sense of what Zig attempted to do in avoiding dysteachia:

“The philosophy behind the program is basically simple. We say in effect; “Kid, it doesn’t matter how miserably your environment has failed to teach you the basic concepts that the average five-year-old has long since mastered. We’re not going to fail you. We’re not going to discriminate against you, or give up on you, regardless of how unready you may be according to traditional standards. We are not going to label you with a handle, such as dyslexic or brain-damaged, and feel that we have now exonerated ourselves from the responsibility of teaching you. We’re not going to punish you by requiring you to do things you can’t do. We’re not going to talk about your difficulties to learn. Rather, we will take you where you are, and we’ll teach you. And the extent to which we fail is our failure, not yours. We will not cop out by saying, “He can’t learn.” Rather, we will say, “I failed to teach him. So I better take a good look at what I did and try to figure out a better way.” (Zig Englemann, unpublished)

After we lay out a series of activities for teaching the subject, we have a choice. We can either say, “We’re done. The program is completed, and it will work,” or we can try out our rough-draft product in the classroom. We’ll choose the latter alternative because we have some concern for the kids, and we’re not arrogant enough to assume that the sequence we created in the sterile confines of our office will automatically translate into lively, effective instruction in the classroom. (Zig Englemann, unpublished)

Here are quotes from Engelmann that communicates the DI sense of responsibility to children.

From "Theory of Instruction" by Engelmann and Carnine."

“If we are humanists, we begin with the obvious fact that the children we work with are perfectly capable of learning anything that we have to teach. We further recognize that we should be able to engineer the learning so that it is reinforcing—perhaps not “fun,” but challenging and engaging. We then proceed to do it— not to continue talking about it. We try to control these variables that are potentially within our control so that they facilitate learning. We train the teacher, design the program, work out a reasonable daily schedule, and leave NOTHING TO CHANCE. We monitor and we respond quickly to problems. We respond quickly and effectively because we consider the problems moral and we conceive of ourselves as providing a uniquely important function - particularly for those children who would most certainly fail without our concerted help. We function as advocates for the children, with the understanding that if we fail, the children will be seriously pre-empted from doing things with their lives, such as having important career options and achieving some potential values for society. We should respond to inadequate teaching as we would to problems of physical abuse. Just as our sense of humanity would not permit us to allow child abuse in the physical sense, we should not tolerate it in the cognitive setting. We should be intolerant because we know what can be achieved if children are taught appropriately. We know that the intellectual crippling of children is caused overwhelmingly by faulty instruction - not by faulty children.

Because of these convictions, we have little tolerance for traditional educational establishments. We feel that they must be changed so they achieve the goals of actually helping all children.

This call for humanity can be expressed on two levels. On that of society: Let’s stop wasting incredible human potential through unenlightened practices and theories.

On the level of children: Let’s recognize the incredible potential for being intelligent and creative possessed by even the least impressive children, and with unyielding passion. Let’s pursue the goal of assuring that this potential becomes reality”.

To see unpublished articles written by Zig Englemann, see www.zigsite.com


Regards,

Kerry

Dr Kerry Hempenstall
98 Hodges Rd.,
Chum Ck. 3777

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Last edited by debbie on Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:31 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm flagging this up - and I've got another great quote that Kerry Hempenstall has drawn to people's attention - I'll add it to the next post.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kerry flagged this up:


Quote:
Another contribution from Robert Slavin:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-e-slavin/its-proven-its-perfect-il_b_7504526.html

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Robert E. Slavin
Director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University

It's Proven. It's Perfect. I'll Change It.

Posted: 06/04/2015
I recently visited Kraków, Poland. It's a wonderful city. One of its highlights is a beautiful royal castle, built in the 16th century by an Italian architect. The castle had just one problem. It had no interior hallways. To go from room to room, you had to go outside onto a covered walkway overlooking a courtyard. This is a perfectly good idea in warm Italy, but in Poland it can get to 30 below in the winter!

In evidence-based reform in education, we have a related problem. As proven programs become more important in policy and practice, many educators ask whether programs proven in one place (say, warm Florida) will work in another (say, cold Minnesota). In fact, many critics of evidence-based reform base their criticism on the idea that every school and every context is different, so it is impossible to have programs that can apply across all schools.

Obviously, the best answer to this problem is to test promising programs in many places, until we can say either that they work across a broad range of circumstances or that there are key context-based limiting variables. While the evidence may not yet (or ever) be definitive, it is worthwhile to use common sense about what factors might limit generalizability and which are unlikely to do so. For example, for indoor activities such as teaching, hot and cold climates probably do not matter. Rural versus urban locations might matter a great deal for parent involvement programs or attendance programs or after school programs, where families' physical proximity to the school and transportation issues are likely to be important. English learners certainly need accommodations to their needs that other children may not. Other ethnic-group or social class differences may impact the applicability of particular programs in particular settings. But especially for classroom instructional approaches, it will most often be the case that kids are kids, schools are schools, and effective is effective. Programs that are effective with one broad set of schools and students are likely to be effective in other similar settings. Programs that work in urban Title I schools mainly teaching native English-speaking students in several locations are likely to be effective in similar settings nationally, and so on.

Yet many educators, even those who believe in evidence, are willing to adopt proven programs, but then immediately want to change them, often in major ways. This is usually a very bad idea. The research field is full of examples of programs that consistently work when implemented as intended, but fail miserably when key elements are altered or completely left out. Unless there are major, clear reasons why changes must be made, it is best to implement programs as they were when they achieved their positive outcomes. Over time, as schools become familiar with a program, school leaders and teachers might discuss revisions with the program developer and implement sensible changes in line with the model's theory of action and evidence base.

Faithful replication is important for obvious reasons, namely sticking as close as possible to the factors that made the original program effective. However, there is a less obvious reason that replications should be as true as possible to the original, at least in the first year or early years of implementation. The reason is because when educators complain about a new program "taking away their creativity," they are often in fact looking for ways to keep doing what they have always done. And if educators do what they have always done, they will get what they have always gotten, as Einstein noted.

Innovation within proven programs can be a good thing, when schools have fully embraced and thoroughly understand a given program and now can see where it can be improved or adapted to their circumstances. However, innovation too early in replication is likely to turn the best of innovations into mush.

It is perfectly fair for school districts, schools and/or teachers to examine the evidence supporting a new approach to judge just how robust that evidence is: has the program proved itself across a reasonable range of school environments not radically unlike their own? But if the answer to that question is yes, then fidelity of implementation should be the guiding principle of adopting the new program.

Kraków's castle should have had interior halls to adapt to the cold Polish winters. However, if everyone's untested ideas about palace design were thrown into the mix from the outset, the palace might never have stood up in the first place!


Regards,

Kerry

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