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Mrs. Tharp

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Everything posted by Mrs. Tharp

  1. Well, I do have a child with autism. I know personally know people in her shoes right now and I have been there myself. I understand why she is sticking with ABA, but that doesn't change what ABA fundamentally is, unfortunately. I did communicate, pointedly, that she should do what is best for her family, and in my earlier post, that ABA can be beneficial for some kids, so I fail to see the implication that I was somehow judging her situation. Physical safety is a major issue.
  2. I hear you, but I stand by the articles I posted. There are alternative methods out there, but as always, everyone needs to do what they feel is best for their own family.
  3. It's maybe more accurate to say that behavior modification has been around for a long time, and that ABA is a particularly distilled form of it targeted at disabled people. I disagree with the notion that the people are none the wiser. IME, people know. I have three individuals with EF issues in my house, and while they often don't comment, they always realize what I'm doing when I prime, reinforce, reward, or punish. You're citing things like frequent buyer programs and speeding fines. Perhaps the difference is in the degree of autonomy involved for the person whose behavior is being modified. Are you choosing to participate? If you say no, will that decision be respected? When behavior modification techniques are abused, either the goals are inappropriate and/or boundaries are being violated. The vulnerability of the disabled make them particularly prone to this kind of abuse. This is not to say that I'm totally against ABA. I think it can be beneficial, but that parents need to go in with their eyes open. A lot depends on the individual doing the work--and as it's such a profitable field, caveat emptor for sure. And the premise of manipulating people through rewards and punishments to get them to do what I want has always struck me as ethically problematic when it's not absolutely necessary. Here's some food for thought from Alfie Kohn: https://www.alfiekohn.org/article/behavior/ Here's another by Kohn about ABA and Autism: https://www.alfiekohn.org/blogs/autism/
  4. I've always thought that good math programs emphasized both concepts and algorithms, and that it was tacitly understood that people needed to learn both to do well. What I have seen are programs that emphasize one over the other, sometimes significantly, but never one, no matter how traditional or conceptual, that simply eliminated teaching concepts or refrained from offering any practice. It's a false debate. I think it only ever becomes an issue in a learning situation where the teacher is responsible for imparting a lesson they themselves don't understand or when the student is not getting either enough time to absorb the concept or enough practice with the work. That said, most people only ever take calculus as a prerequisite to pursue a field of interest, not through any inherent interest in the subject. It's unfortunate that's it's a gatekeeping class to so many different fields of study, where it will rarely if ever be used, but there it is. I agree that in higher math if students don't understand the concepts early on, they may be at a disadvantage later, but I've also heard of people doing really well in calculus without really understanding what they were doing.
  5. Right, but in many settings, such as public ones, adequate learning, not the best learning, is the goal. The best learning is what we shoot for in a one to one tutoring session, or when we really, really care about a subject. This is a lovely sentiment, but only really necessary in a few particular fields of expertise for most people. It's possible, and just fine, to spend a lifetime cooking, or driving, or a myriad of other things without understanding exactly why they work the way that they do. Experience can, and frequently does, also compensate for a lack of conceptual understanding.
  6. Yes, it is important to have methods of teaching in public settings that give everyone a reasonable shot at succeeding. The traditional format of lecture, questions & answer, practice, test & review can, if done reasonably well, challenge the advanced students while providing enough support to the disadvantaged--the poor, the English language learners, and those with learning differences. And, in my experience, all students appreciate classes with straightforward formatting. They like knowing exactly what they need to do to do well.
  7. I guess I always took the concept of prelection for granted, as one of the foundations of good teaching. I don't think it would necessarily preclude a discovery approach in the abstract.
  8. Yeah, my issue with it from a ps perspective is that the method will leave behind everyone with difficulties inferring, which includes many neurodiverse folks, ESL kids and people who just need a concrete presentation. In effect, it is biased in favor of those who excel at abstract thinking and who have outstanding EF skills. The method is terrible news for educators who try to narrow the achievement gap, since minorities, the poor, and the neurodiverse traditionally struggle more with these skills.
  9. Off the top of my head: Beast Academy, Math in Focus, Math U See, and Jacobs Geometry.
  10. My son is doing Conceptual Academy Physical Science Explorations this year and loves it. It's a textbook plus online course.
  11. Haha, not silly at all. That heinous example came from Everyday Math. That said, the boys also hated many homeschool math programs far superior to EM that emphasized more discovery/conceptual learning.
  12. A method in which kids are frequently asked to explain why they are doing what they are doing, there are lots of open ended activities, and learning through play is emphasized. Practice is deemphasized. I remember one such program regularly asking my six year old to explain, in writing, why 2 and 3 made 5. Is that enough, or do you want something more specific?
  13. Yes, but my point was, that the example was ineffective in the context in which it was mentioned. If you are going to drive a car, then you need to know the norms of the road and how to drive the car without breaking or crashing it. This is not conducive to the discovery method because of the risk of injury/death and property damage. That was my point, that discovery learning can do more harm than good depending on the circumstances, which dovetails with my next point, Which is that I disagree that the discovery method is appropriate for beginners. There are many ways to do math and many ways to look at history. I disagree that it is a good idea to present this to a true beginner, someone with zero exposure to the discipline. I would argue that someone who is just learning the basics of math or history should be taught in one way, until they've achieved some mastery in the basics, before looking at different ways of doing it. I mean, there's a reason theories of knowledge in history is not an introductory class in college. It's because the faculty want students to obtain a good content knowledge of the subject first, by taking basic history classes. They understand that, as experts, they approach history differently than a student beginning a course of study. To use another example, it's great when people who want to be mechanics tinker with cars, but for most, it will never be enough to replace a formal course of study, taught by a master mechanic. I totally agree that different ways should be taught, just not right away. I've found that introducing too many choices too soon to be both confusing and overwhelming to my kids, and a real impediment to learning. Additionally, it's fine to discuss this in theory, but reality will always be bounded by constraints. Lack of interest, lack of time, and the necessity of specific learning goals in certain subjects, such as Driver's Ed., will limit the amount of time spent in "discovery". The level of interest will be crucial, since many people won't be motivated to explore a subject unless they have a preexisting interest in it. I find it telling that Lori Pickert embraced project-based homeschooling enough to write a book about it, but that her husband wasn't willing to leave math to chance. No theory of education is one-size-fits-all; everything needs to be modified to fit the child and the circumstances. I think discovery learning is fine under certain circumstances, particularly when no one is relying on a specific outcome or is working within a specific time frame. Otherwise, it's problematic. Also, a tail-end observation here, I really, really don't think it works well in core subjects for kids with learning disabilities. That observation is from experience of my own and other's families.
  14. A car has only a few pieces? A car doesn't have anything worth discovering? I think mechanics might disagree with you, especially now that they need to use computers for diagnostics. There are many ways to add, but the vast majority aren't particularly efficient. Why is it of value to know about them all, unless the student is particularly interested? If the student wants to learn using that method, than full speed ahead. Otherwise, I think it's inefficient and frustrating for everybody. If someone wants knowledge about the best, or quickest, or most efficient way to do something, they should be given it. If they don't want to have to figure out how to do something from scratch, that's okay too.
  15. I hate discovery methods. Because it's so trendy, I've tried it a few times, but it never worked. It came across like I was withholding information; my sons were always asking, "Why don't you just show me?" It also seems like a strong interest in the subject matter is necessary. My kids mostly didn't care enough to rediscover basic concepts in science or already knew about them through independent reading. One of my sons is sitting next to me now and pointed out that you would never teach someone to drive a car using this method. "If you show them how the car works beforehand, you're going to have fewer wrecked cars than if you said, "Here's a car. See if you can rediscover how to drive it."
  16. Conceptual Academy ticks those boxes.
  17. So, they would conduct an investigation into this? I guess I just read mine books that explained it.
  18. I think you may be underestimating yourself, to be honest. Saxon is secular. You didn't miss anything there. Hakim is secular too; she is banned from those groups for different reasons. I had never heard about any racist language or whitewashing in Hakim before I read about it there, from anyone, (Clearly, I have now.) and it's impossible to confirm what they are referring to since they don't include specific citations. David McCullough, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, the Washington Post Book World, etc, etc, all gave it glowing reviews, and the first Amazon review from a reader states that it is left wing, revisionist history. So, really, it's not on you if you didn't notice anything. Many, many non-religious, highly educated people failed to notice anything either.
  19. I understand what you're saying. You certainly can teach it at younger ages, it just typically isn't. (Maybe because of the parent lobby, sure.) I've looked at your other posts and we approach hsing a little differently. I did more content heavy stuff first and am hitting concepts much harder now that my kids are older. They are neurodiverse, so it worked better for us for me to do it this way.
  20. I have no idea about Saxon. I always thought it was secular. The other secular FB group I'm on bans Hakim's history because they say it has racist language and is whitewashed.
  21. I have to admit, I taught science as a series of topics for some time. We covered the scientific method, but didn't explore it in too much depth until they were older. How do you think this would be an issue in an elementary level science class? I'm genuinely curious. I didn't think younger kids did the kind of investigations that could be limited based on religious doctrine. I thought most creationist scientist focused on evolution and geological age, which aren't usually topics for younger kids.
  22. Phew. Thanks for the discussion so far, everyone.
  23. Yeah, one of the questions I was asking when I got booted was about Charlotte Mason. That philosophy is NOT secular in its original form, and here they were allowing all these curriculum based on her methods, but banning entire other curriculum because of their Christian worldviews. And that was where I was heading with that--that if some curriculum get policed based on the creator's philosophy, why aren't all of them? (Excluding science, here.) Particularly if they are taking the point of view that curriculum is bannable solely due to author's views trickling down into the curriculum. I think the caveat they are offering right now with Pandia and BYL is that authors are working to modify them so that they become secular--but that still doesn't solve the underlying problem with philosophy for either provider. (I asked about the Classical philosophy too.)
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