Friday, February 10, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Impersonal Personalization

CURMUDGUCATION: Impersonal Personalization:

Impersonal Personalization


Your child sits at a desk, alone in the room. No teacher ever enters the room. An aid comes into the room periodically to give your child a quiz, or a worksheet. Your child fills out the sheet, the aid scores it. Maybe the aid gives it back to your child to do again, but the aid can't explain anything. All the worksheets and quizzes are written so that the aid, or anyone, really, can correct them. Eventually, the aid takes the paper out of the room. A few moments pass, and then the aid returns with a new standardized worksheet or quiz.

If you go to the school to see what the heck is going on, you may follow the aid to another room, maybe a huge room. In that room there are a few hundred of stacks of worksheets and quizzes. The aid brings in a completed one, and the worker in that room looks at the results and based on those, selects another paper to be carried back to the student.

"Where did all these stacks come from?" you ask.

The worker explains. "They were all written out years ago by some teacher, or at least someone expert in writing worksheets."
"Well, can I meet that person? Can I talk to the person who created all these stacks? Can I ask her how she makes sure they are right for my child?"

"Ha," laughs the worker. "She's long gone. She moved on as soon as she finished writing these out. She's never met your kid. She's never even laid eyes on your kid. Excuse me a minute." The aid comes back with a new paper. The worker scans it, looks around at a few stacks of fresh papers, grabs one, muttering, "Well, this comes as close as anything we've got."

"Comes close!?!"

"Hey, we don't have infinite assignments in here. And we stacked these up long before your kid even 
CURMUDGUCATION: Impersonal Personalization:


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