Tom Crosby

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Tom Crosby
Posted over 2 years ago
Andreas Schleicher: Use data to build better schools
I spent 34 years as an educator before retiring a year ago. For 3 years I was principal of a school where there was one class per grade level. Students taking standardized tests, which included application type problem solving questions, scored in every stanine. These were kids who had had the exact same teacher and instruction every day for 6 years of their educational experience. In the USA students are in school 13% of their waking hours. There is a cultural revolution that needs to take place in regard to what happens with the other 87% of students' time - especially for the most needy. The brief talk by Andreas suggests the Koreans have done some tinkering with the 87%. Loading more inservice training on teachers and standardized tests on students has done little in the USA to improve education. In many instances teacher training and tests have drained teacher time and energy and funneled resources into the pockets of test makers and businesses promoting dubious improvement schemes and away from classrooms. The challenge is to make school and learning an enjoyable experience, so people grow up with the attitude that continuing to learn through involvement with directed instruction is a pleasant way to grow and experience life. For a large proportion of 15 year olds in the USA the motivation to score better on a test than kids in Finland is not going to be much of a motivator.
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Tom Crosby
Posted over 2 years ago
Can Money Buy Happiness?
The thought occurred to me the other day that money allows more people to survive. Most people are very far removed from a homesteading lifestyle that allows them to survive through their direct interaction with the land/sea/atmosphere., so money is the system that sustains their existence. Several comments below speak to individual happiness being a matter of outlook, but first basic needs must be met. There are several theories that relate to the evolution of a well balanced life and happiness (Maslow, Erickson .. to name a couple), and these start with ones meeting basic needs and developing a feeling of security. My initial thought linking money to population increase took me to the weird thought that the money that provides the basic needs and security that form the platform from which happiness can be constructed for the millions of people who work in war related industries brings misery to millions of other people.