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Re: [SACC-L] Blaming teachers is like blaming dentists for cavities

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  • Andrew Petto
    Tell me about it. I am in the midst of grading papers on a case study about the process of scientific inquiry. The main result is the question of whether the
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 9, 2011
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      Tell me about it.
      I am in the midst of grading papers on a case study about the process of
      scientific inquiry. The main result is the question of whether the
      researchers set up the study to show a clear cause-and-effect
      relationship and whether they presented their data in a way that makes
      it obvious whether or not their hypothesis was correct.

      I am getting all sorts of interesting writing, but my repeated comments
      are whether this or that issue invalidates the proposed cause-and-effect
      relationship. I am also seeing all sorts of interesting items in their
      bibliographies ... many related to procedures in the the study, but not
      to the central issue of how the study was conducted and reported.

      So, in addition to the inability to articulate complex ideas; we also
      see that the trend toward short answers and MC testing prevents students
      from seeing an overarching context and applying it consistently in their
      critique of a piece of research.

      But, my philosophy is that these are people who are not yet completely
      educated and it is, in part, my job to help get them closer to that
      goal. I only wish they were not so far away from it to begin with.


      Anj


      --

      -----------------------------
      Andrew J Petto, PhD
      Senior Lecturer
      Department of Biological Sciences
      University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
      PO Box 413
      Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
      CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
      Telephone: 414-229-6784
      FAX: 414-229-3926
      https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm

      *************
      Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
      https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/scc2.htm
      *************



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    • Lynch, Brian M
      Yes, and if someone is looking to determine the effectiveness of the dentists, those dentists would do well to become adept at demonstrating the difference
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 10, 2011
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        Yes, and if someone is looking to determine the effectiveness of the dentists, those dentists would do well to become adept at demonstrating the difference achieved, between start of treatment and end of treatment, to make the point of how much change has occurred, from what starting point.

        At the same time, a dentist is the professional who is trained to know her/his own work. External standards don't (or shouldn't) dictate her/his own judgment.

        Taking it out of the analogy frame, we as professionals in our fields (as anthropologists, teachers etc.) use our judgment every day as we teach, and assess our students constantly as we teach-- whether we record it as a grade or not. What puzzles me is why, we as professonals, act more like anthropologists who have plied our professionally trained skills at field work, doing qualitative and quantitative research, in creative and often unconventional ways, and then are reluctant to promote our etic analysis in all its polyvalent meaning-- for fear it might be called "assessment"? We need to not be afraid to push back, by asserting the very skills of observation and reporting that are at the heart of our disciplines.

        Brian


        ________________________________

        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Andrew Petto
        Sent: Sun 10/9/2011 7:11 PM
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Blaming teachers is like blaming dentists for cavities




        To be fair, not the exact words, but the same analogy; the dentists who
        work with the neediest patients are likely to have the worst outcomes.
        http://www.teachervision.fen.com/education-and-state/education-and-social-issues/4727.html

        This was significantly reworked and focused on the local situation.

        Anj

        On 10/9/2011 11:42, Lloyd Miller wrote:
        > Anj,
        >
        > Did you really read this commentary several years ago? If so, the writer must have re-worked portions to apply to the current political situation in Iowa.
        >
        > I think your letter is excellent too. Often, analogies are risky, but yours is right on target. I too have a file of op ed letters I've written that were never printed. I'm told that the letters most often printed are short, contain no big words, and are directed at the national mean ability to comprehend (is it still 12 years-old)? I'm a rank failure at small talk.
        >
        > Lloyd
        >
        >
        >
        > On Oct 9, 2011, at 9:24 AM, Andrew Petto wrote:
        >
        >> It's pretty old, though. I remember reading it several years ago.
        >>
        >> It is true, nonetheless.
        >>
        >> More recently, I wrote this, but the paper wouldn't print it.
        >>
        >> Colorado Senate Bill 10-191 is supposed to ensure "quality instruction"
        >> through "educator effectiveness". The bill eliminates the state's
        >> existing teacher performance council and replaces it with a state-level
        >> guidelines for teacher performance evaluation. According to the bill, at
        >> least 50% of a teacher's professional evaluation will be based on
        >> "measures of longitudinal student growth" and "achievement levels on
        >> statewide assessments". No doubt, teachers are a very important part of
        >> how how well students perform on these tests.
        >>
        >> This approach, of course, is similar to the failed "No Child Left
        >> Behind" law, but it is intuitively appealing and seems reasonable to
        >> people who are not classroom teachers. Perhaps it would be easier to
        >> understand the problems by applying this approach to another profession.
        >>
        >> For example, let's imagine that we were evaluating the effectiveness of
        >> a worker putting on a new roof working under conditions that are
        >> familiar to most teachers. Here are the roofer's instructions:
        >>
        >> The nails have been used before; many are rusted and bent. But they
        >> have a lot of "potential" so you should be able to work with them.
        >> The shingles were blown off other buildings or taken from demolition
        >> sites, but there are some good ones. Tar paper is too expensive; use
        >> this nice recycled newspaper instead. It's almost as good. These
        >> recycled aluminum baking pans are the flashing; we know it is not
        >> ideal, but the other stuff is expensive, and you keep using it up
        >> and asking for more. There aren't enough hammers, but here are some
        >> heavy wrenches and iron pipe; they are good enough to get the job done.
        >>
        >> The ladder has some missing rungs, and the rails are loose at some
        >> points; but don't worry, we have security. They won't hold the
        >> ladder, but if you fall and hurt yourself badly enough, they might
        >> call 911. Oh, and their pay comes out of your budget, too.
        >>
        >> Of course, you are welcome to bring your own ladders, and tools ---
        >> as long as you spend your own money --- but you cannot select your
        >> materials. You have to use the nails, shingles, and flashing we give
        >> you. Your career will depend on an independent assessment of the
        >> roof after you have finished. The evaluation will consider only the
        >> performance of the roof --- does it leak; are the shingles and
        >> flashing secured; etc. --- not how much you accomplished with so
        >> little.
        >>
        >> If you would even try to do a job under these conditions,
        >> congratulations! you could be a teacher!
        >>
        >> On 10/9/2011 01:51, webmaster@... <mailto:webmaster%40moc.desmoinesregister.com> wrote:
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> Article Title: Blaming teachers is like blaming dentists for cavities
        >>>
        >>> To view the contents on www.desmoinesregister.com, go to:
        >>> http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201110080405/OPINION04/310080008
        >>>
        >>> Message:This is best letter to the editor on this topic I've ever read
        >>> (and better than I've ever written).
        >>>
        >>> Lloyd
        >>>
        >>>
        >> --
        >>
        >> -----------------------------
        >> Andrew J Petto, PhD
        >> Senior Lecturer
        >> Department of Biological Sciences
        >> University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
        >> PO Box 413
        >> Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
        >> CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
        >> Telephone: 414-229-6784
        >> FAX: 414-229-3926
        >> https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm
        >>
        >>

        -----------------------------
        Andrew J Petto, PhD
        Senior Lecturer
        Department of Biological Sciences
        University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
        PO Box 413
        Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
        CapTel Line: 1-877-243-2823
        Telephone: 414-229-6784
        FAX: 414-229-3926
        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/ajpetto/www/index.htm





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