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October 01, 1965 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-10-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PAGE SIX

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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PAGE SIX THE MICHIGAN DAILY 1~'PTflAV f~fI'd~UI~~ I w*~

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Appetizing Education Needs

Well Done Plans"

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By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The revolu-
tion in the 3 R's, now putting
meat and muscle into everything
from first grade reading to 12th
grade physics, probably will con-
tinue for another ten years.
Then- it will have to begin all
over again.
As children are better prepared
in grade school, even the already-
improved junior high programs
will have to be beefed up to keep
them interested. Better prepara-
tion in junior high in turn re-
quires more challenging programs
in the high schools.
Mary Jones, entering the first
grade this fall, will have eight
or nine years of the new ele-
mentary-school and junior high
science. By the time Mary is in
high school, even today's new
and rugged biology, chemistry
and physics courses will be com-
paratively soft touches and will
have to be strengthened.
New Courses
The same is true in math,

where children in the first three
grades are being introduced to
algebra and geometry. Tradition-
al high school courses in civics
and economics will be forced in-
to the academic ash can by the
new elementary-school s o c i a l
studies courses.
A growing number of schools
are discarding the traditional
"Oh, oh, oh; look, look, look,"
readers and teaching first grad-
ers to read and enjoy Aesop's
Fables and other children's clas-
sics. Improved reading ability
alone will have a tremendous ef-
fect on every part of the school
curriculum.
The revolution in the three R's
isn't all from the first grade up.
It works from the top down as
well. When a new and tougher
course is introduced in high
school, it quickly becomes obvious
that there must be better prep-
aration for it in the lower grades.
Narrow the Gap
Thus, the physical science
study committee (PSSC), which

developed the new high school
physics, is now at work on a
ninth grade course in introduc-
tory physical science. The idea:
narrow the gap between what a
youngster learns in junior high
science, and what he needs to
know to be comfortable with ad-
vanced high school science.
Educators agree that the real
impact of the revolution is still
to come.
John Goodlad of the Univer-
sity of California at Los Angeles,
in a report written for the Fund
for the Advancement of Educa-
tion, had this warning:
Curriculum Change
"It is dangerous. . . to assume
that curriculum change has swept
through all of our 85,000 public
elementary schools and 24,000
public secondary schools during
this past decade of reform.
S"Tens of thousands of schools
have scarcely been touched, or
not been touched at all, espe-
cially in areas of very sparse or
very dense population.
"Tens of thousands of teach-
ers have had little opportunity to
realize what advances in know-
ledge and changes in subject
fields mean for them. Tens of
thousands hold emergency certif-
icates or teach subjects other
than those in which they were
prepared.
Few Science Teachers
"In elementary schools, teach-
ers with backgrounds in science
and mathematics constitute a
species that is about as rare as
the American buffalo."
Paul Klinge, assistant to the

president of Indiana University,
said in an interview:
"The curriculum reforms have-
n't really hit the colleges yet, but
they will within five years.
"Last fall, five per cent of the
freshmen at Indiana University
had had the new (PSSC) physics
in high school, about seven per
cent had studies the new chem-
istry, and about ten per cent
the new biology.
Impact on Colleges
"When the impact does hit the
colleges, it's really going to shake
up things on the campus. And
in 10-15 years, new programs
now being put in the elementary
schools and junior highs are go-
ing to changethings so much
that we'll have to have an en-
tirely new reform movement."
Basic to the revolution in the
three R's is the realization by
educators that children can learn
more, and learn it earlier, than
had ever been imagined. More
than that-they enjoy it.
Dr. Jerrold R. Zacharias, pro-
fessor of physics at Massachu-
setts Institute of Technology,
long a prime mover in curric-,
ulum reform, puts it this way:
"It's wrong to say that we are
pushing things from the grad-
uate school down to the elemen-
tary grades. That's not the ob-i

ed quite a stir in 1960 when he
wrote, "any subject matter can be
taught to anybody at any age in
some form that is honest."
Much of today's curriculum
reform is based on that hypothe-
sis.
The success-of any such reform
rests ultimately with the class-
room teacher. Unfortunately,
most teachers were not prepared
yesterday for the new tasks they
face today.
This is particularly true in the
elementary schools, where teach-
ers are supposesd to know some-
thing about everything, a n d
teach subjects ranging from Eng-
lish and social studies to arith-
metic and science.
The new programs require a
degree of specialization, and it
will be a long time waiting for
an elementary school teacher
with strong academic background
in such diverse areas as English,
science, math and economics.
The situation is not so bad at
the high school level, where
many teachers have college ma-
jors in the subject they are
teaching. Even so, the most ex-
perienced high school teachers
often are the ones farthest re-
moved from the latest develop-
ments in their fields.
For this reason, curriculum

S-

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SHABBAT SHUVAH
The Sabbath of Repentance

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coordinator, a member of the
University faculty, is also a
former high school teacher and
an expert in a particular field.
The coordinators are on call to
visit any community in the state.
"Perhaps the school superin-
tendent wants a critical evalua-
tion-how they stack up against
other schools, what they can do
to improve their programs," said
M. Phillip Leamon, the present
head coordinator.
"We can tell them what's go-
ing on in other schools, how
they should go about introducing
one of the new courses. We tell
them, for instance, that there's
no use introducing the new
PSSC physics course if they don't
have a good math program.
"Sometimes we talk to teach-
ers, sometimes to community
service clubs, sometimes to school
boards. All these new programs
can be confusing. We try to
clear away the fog."
Indiana University got a rude
shock in 1958, Leamon said.
"We had a summer institute
for foreign language teachers.
And we found that we were grad-
uating teachers in foreign lan-
guage, then bringing them back
in the summer to teach them
what we should have taught
them in the first place."
Leamon said, "the big thing
we have to fight at the university
level is inertia and apathy in
teacher training. There still are
many university scholars who
will ask, 'high school-what's a
high school?'
James R. Willian Jr., president
of Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, said recently:
"Scientists from approximately
50 different universities and 40
industrial organizations, a n d
more than 100 teachers worked
on the initial development of the
PSSC physics course.
"Since its inception approxi-
mately 350 faculty members from
over 200 colleges and universities
and several hundred teachers
have worked either full-time or
part-time on ESI's curriculum
development and teacher educa-
tion programs"
ESI - short for Educational
Services, Inc., is a non-profit ed-
ucational organization w h i c h
grew out of the PSSC project.

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TONIGHT at 7:30
in the Zwerdling-Cohn Chapel
- Participants

ject at all-to cram more and innovators concern themselves al-
more things into more and more most as much with the teacher

Richard Corn
Heidi Fox

Sid Kraizman
Lenore Libby
Harry Lubetsky

Helaine Orkin
Cynthia Rogoff

heads.
Sophisticated Thinking
"We're trying to get kids
thinking in sophisticated areas,
trying to find ways to make kids
use their heads. And it turns out
kids like to use their heads.
"One of the things we reallyj
believe is that kids are brighter
than you think. There are all
sorts of ways you can get kids
trapped into intellectuality."
Dr. Jerome Bruner, professor
of psychology at Harvard, creat-

as with the child.
The published materials for the
courses always include a detailed
teachers' guide and usually such
aids as films, records, tape re-
cordings, etc. In addition, teach-
ers are encouraged, and often
helped .financially, to attend spe-
cial summer institutes and sem-
inars.
Indiana University in 1956 set
up a staff of coordinators to
serve as liaison between the uni-
versity and the schools. Each

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