Friday, June 21, 2013

100% proficiency in everything is a pipe-dream.

Joanne Jacobs links to the question:
Do all students need to be equally good in all subjects? Standards for aircraft differ based on what a plane is going to do. Why not for students? Proficiency might be enough in math for a student heading into the arts. It would surely be too low for one aspiring to an engineering career.
When every Eduwonk, Administrator and Reformer is equally good at Calculus, Physics, Shakespeare, writing, Biology, History, Art, Music ... then we can expect that every student will be proficient across the board.

I'm not saying we shouldn't teach them everything, but we can't expect total proficiency.


  1. To the extent that "expect" means "predict," we'd be kinda crazy to expect that all students will be proficient in everything. (Or even that MOST students will be proficient in SOMETHING.)

    Devil's advocate: What's the point in teaching everything if we know many/most kids won't learn it? Why not ditch Shakespeare and Calculus and bring in more vocational training instead? (Offer classes for future mechanics/electricians/plumbers/cooks/whatever.)

  2. Why teach everything? Because neither we nor the students know what they're good at yet and because I would rather teach 0-10 and have them forget 8, 9, and 10 than teach 0-8 and have them forget 6,7, and 8.