Matt Brundage

Failures of Outcome-based Education

I found an article about the facts of outcome-based education. My thoughts:

If we must resort to having our schools attempt to improve the self-esteem of children, it must mean that these children are arriving at school with feelings of self-doubt and underdeveloped egos. Simply telling a child he is valuable will not cut it. It is akin to telling an injured person “you are not hurting.” If a child isn’t valued and loved at home, what the child needs is positive attention, not lectures on self-worth. The assurances may be well meaning, but it should not be the school’s responsibility to indoctrinate feelings into children. Respect from others must come first from family and friends, and should be only a secondary reinforcement in school.

Some say that a person will be more likely to cope with certain situations if they are convinced that they are effective. But in this case, perception is NOT reality. The “relatively errorless progression” is the bane of outcome-based education because it encourages not the mastery of knowledge, but feelings. “Feelings, attitudes, and skills such as learning to work together in groups will become just as important as learning information — some reformers would argue more important.” (Closson) I’m most concerned with the idea of an “errorless” outcome. Telling a child he is correct when he is not and changing the rules as one goes along will not prepare that child for the work environment, where employers and deal-makers won’t give a rat’s rear end about “feelings”. Employers will not rate employees on a curve or cater to the lowest common denominator.

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