flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

March 12, 2011

Change the name, please

UPDATE - I passed. By a wide margin. Go figure.

This morning, I got up bright and early to take a certification test for Environmental Education. Between teaching the course and studying (albeit not very much) independently, I was hoping to get the real credentials to teach the class.

I have no idea if I passed.

With a good 10% of the questions things like: what is the proper way to change the beliefs of your students? what is the most effective way to change your local environmental policies from the classroom? what age are children most able to be molded to the right environmental beliefs? etc., I was just ticked by the time I left the test. I ended up writing all sorts of notes in the booklet, just because I couldn't be silent.

I believe the course name should be changed. It's not Environmental Science, it's Environmental Indoctrination. (They even had a question about how to deal with materials that have bias in them, because most environmental materials do.)

When did the role of education change from teaching a child facts and helping them to form their own, INFORMED opinions to telling a child what to believe? The "science" here is founded in equations like this one:


Where I = environmental impact, P = population, A = AFFLUENCE, T= TECHNOLOGICAL LEVEL, and S = some stupid thing like how much your rich, advanced culture is listening to and implementing the advice of your environmental scientists (I think it's sustainability, but I've already purged the bilge from my mind).

Where do the numbers come from? Most likely, out of the "scientist's" posterior.

They have all these "graphs" without real data behind them. And these are supposed to give us the ammunition to change the core beliefs of our students.

I love the actual science here - the earth science and macrobiology. I love understanding as much as possible about the impact of human interaction on our environment. But I don't think we'll ever understand enough to dictate policy from the classroom. And it makes me uncomfortable that they want me to.

Alas, perhaps I should go for a math cert after all. sigh.



Blogger cube said...

Good luck on your test.

One of my pet peeves it how science has been corrupted by research grants and political agendas. As far as math certification goes, do you remember new math?

April 01, 2011 12:25 PM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

I actually like some of the new math - I like the way they teach long multiplication these days. But I could do without the "spiraling". (i.e. my 4th grader's math homework has 2 algebra problems, 2 mixed fraction addition problems, 2 long division problems, and a crazy word problem). My husband has it right - the only thing that spirals is a toilet bowl.


April 01, 2011 12:48 PM  
Blogger cube said...

Congrats. I knew you'd pass and so did you.

I didn't like the new math in the same way I don't like young whippersnappers coming onto my lawn ;-)

I know I'm leaving out a goodly number, but if the old math was good enough for the likes of Einstein, Euler, Riemann, Fermat, et al, it's good enough for me.

April 07, 2011 5:20 AM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

thanks! Actually, I really had no idea if I passed, and now I see why. Of the 95 possible raw points, only 18 were the science. 22 were teaching methodologies. 46 were about influencing decisions and consequences of influencing decisions (!). and 9 were "social sciences" questions - a contradiction in terms if I've ever seen one. NOT A SCIENCE.

Good thing I can take tests well!

As for the "new" math, well, I've never been one for hanging on to tradition for tradition sake. So long as the same concepts are there, I try to adapt. Hence, my heavy usage of facebook instead of blogger . I do miss listserv, sometimes.


April 07, 2011 6:35 AM  
Blogger cube said...

I'm a bit of an old timer when it comes to education. I think we've gotten into teaching a bunch of multicultural crap at the expense of basic reading, writing, and 'rithmatic. This is why our students aren't excelling anymore.

April 14, 2011 5:30 AM  

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