[Milton-L] Why teachers retire early if they can afford it

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Wed Jun 11 17:05:21 EDT 2008


<<There is no evidence that would satisfy minimally rigorous standards of
evidence* that anyone learns to write in English classes. Those who SEEM
to learn in English classes are with rare exceptions those who would
have written well without ever entering a classroom.>>

The second sentence does not follow logically from the first.  There
is no evidence that these students who "seem" to learn in English
class would have written well without ever entering a classroom.  In
fact, there is no evidence possible, as the second statement requires
that we compare students of equal aptitude who have, and then have
not, entered a classroom.

I assume you believe someone somewhere has to teach us to read and
write, how to do it correctly, and then well, and to give us
sufficient examples of good writing so that we know what to model.  I
agree with you that this does not have to happen in the classroom.

But in the classroom, these types of exercises only take place in
English, philosophy, history, and humanities courses.

What you should compare is the writing of business, psychology,
engineering, and science majors to the writing of English and
philosophy majors.

So far as "cooperate so whole-heartedly in merely making the job of
corporate personnel officers easier," surely this is a ridiculous
red-herring.  First, if we cooperate at all, it doesn't matter if we
cooperate whole-heartedly -- we're still aiding the system.  Next, if
we produce educated, self-critical adults familiar with a wide
knowledge base, one would hope we've given them some tools that would
help them understand the system in which they are placed.

Jim R

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