Inventing the Humanities

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Project Proposal"

I am planning on for my project to create an "Educational Manifesto." As a junior high school teacher I am exposed to students, their needs and the problems they have everyday. I am an English teacher and some problems the kids have really hit home for me. When I began teaching three years ago I was placed at a low achieving junior high school. Kids had problems with reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. This year I got placed in a better, different junior high school and thought that these issues with vocabulary, grammar, and spelling would go away for the most part. However, after giving my first spelling and vocabulary quiz I realized how wrong I was. Then, my epiphany occurred and I realized that this was a problem everywhere no matter what the school or where it was. Now, I believe that this problem of poor spelling, vocabulary skills, grammar, and writing needs to be fixed. I feel there are simple ways to fix this problem. Schools need to use textbooks in the English classroom. Each student would get a vocabulary book learning new words each week and how to spell them. Also, each child would receive a grammar book that will teach them basic writing rules like subject-verb agreement. These simple changes just may increase students reading and writing ability. All we need to do it is a few new textbooks to help the children learn. For sources I plan on using some of the manifestos we read for class by taking some ideas that I like from them and applying to my "Educational Manifesto."


At 5:57 AM, Blogger Jason Tougaw said...

Interesting! It sounds like you're arguing for a return to more traditional methods of teaching language acquisition. Do I have it right? This is a potentially controversial claim. Of course, manifestos are all about controversial claims. To be convincing, though, I think you'll need to tackle counter-arguments head-on. You'll need to discuss some of the research and theory that suggest that teaching grammar and vocabulary through textbooks and exams is ineffective. Advocates of this argument tend to suggest that what students really need is lots of reading and writing. But I think I've heard you mention a few times that it's very difficult to get students to read and write. So there's a dilemma.

Anyway, let me know if you want me to pass along some material that discusses the issue. I have some pretty readily available.


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