In Her Shell
Saturday, December 16, 2006
[eth-iks] –plural noun
1.(used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2.the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3.moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4.(usually used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

"Not all of us can be as ethical as you, [wonderturtle]."

I commented in the faculty room, because I couldn't take not commenting anymore, about the online courses that many--no, most--of my colleagues are taking to advance on the salary guide. None of these people pretend that these courses are going to help them in their professional lives, even though they are education courses. They are generally understood to be bullshit.

People take these courses because they can--the district accepts them just as they accept bricks-and-mortar graduate courses. They are somewhat less time-consuming than bricks-and-mortal graduate courses. It seems that, though they are academically less challenging, they are no less of a hassle in terms of the amount of work.

People take these courses because they need the money--they are buying houses and having children and if the district is going to pay them more for taking these courses, they are going to take that opportunity.

People take these courses, and then pass down the coursework to the next person taking the course. This is triage for busy people: family, teaching, coaching come first. If they can benefit from someone's else's experience, they will take that opportunity as well.


To me, it sounds boring, it sounds like wasted energy, it sounds like it brings down the integrity of teaching in general. Something that makes it OK for people outside the profession to say that education courses, and education in general, are bullshit. It also sounds like cheating.

But I got the response above and I don't know what to do with it. I don't blame my fellow teachers, who are underpaid and overworked as it is, for trying to do better for themselves and their families within a flawed system. But I also think we should hold ourselves to the same standard that we expect of our students.

Absolutely right [wonderturtle]. The retort that they can't be as ethical as you clearly indicates that they know what they're doing is the wrong go at it.

I occasionally go out on a limb at work and let my cohorts know that an approach they're taking to something is wrong. They're often too apathetic to even take offense.
Sorry to stir the pot, but couldn't someone theoretically learn just as much through online coursework as they could in a traditional classroom? Isn't education always what you make of it?

Wouldn't someone be just as guilty if they went to a traditional "brick and mortar" school and coasted through, doing the bare minimum? Is it just the perception of online coursework that someone is doing it to coast through?

I've never taken an online course, but I have coasted through many a college course in my day. Maybe it's my guilt from that talking...
Mombi: You are right, and I'm sure there are online courses that are very valuable. I'm going on what I'm told by these people who are taking the courses, But I also think I am a bit of a snob about it....

Dale: Thanks for the atta girl. It's hard to say things to your colleagues that you know are not going to go over well. I did apologize to the friend in question afterward.
TenS is doing an online MA course right now and is busting her ass, so I can tell you that they aren't all a waste of time. In general though, I tink Ed school is a waste, online or brink and morter. I learned almost nothing in any of my Ed classes, it was all just so much touchy feely shit, no real content, and I went to what is considered a "good" although not great school.

I don't know what the answer is. The system is flawed. I know teachers with BAs who rock,a nd teachers with a couple of MAs who coast through their jobs, obviously the level of education isn't a good indicator or ability. A good teacher who takes an online class is still a better teacher than an bad teacher who takes a "real" class, isn't she?

I am actually thinking about taking one of the cohort programs myself, sinply to get the pay increase. But that's OK, because we have already established that we can't all be as ethical as you, wt.
Hopefully typing skills are not a good indicator of ability either, because mine indicate that I am a moron.
Lu: I know, I sound like a total bitch knocking these courses. I don't know about them all and admittedly don't even know that much about this one, besides what I hear.

I don't think, though, that all Education classes are worthless. I think it's worthwhile to study Ed Policy, Ed and Society, and Ed History to the end of trying to build a better system than the one we have now.

Stuff like Assertive Discipline, Classroom Management, and some Ed Philosophy courses are generally worthless because those are things you learn on the job and frankly, some people are just better at them than others, though experience helps everyone.

And I heart your typing skills.
I think Ed Policy etc., are valuable classes, but I'm not entirely sure that they are valuable for teachers. I know policy is your thing, but I honestly have no interest in it, outside of bitching about it, and would rather have spent my time in Ed school learning something like how to actually teach reading to kids who are 6 years below grade level. I think most teachers would be better served by learning more content too, as many Ed schools don't require as many classes in content area as a degree in LA&S in the same major would.
You are right. But to some degree I believe college is for suckers. Like me.
Lu: This is why I want to become an Ed professor! To try and bring some of my actual teaching experience into the teaching of, well, teaching.

Grant: I'm going to go ahead and assume that by "you," you are referring to me, and say thank you. And you are right.
My theory is that obtaining a degree (esp. and undergrad degree) is part content and part learning to do what is required of you to complete a job. Both aspects are important. I have known many brilliant people in my day who have so many doors closed on them because they don't have their four year degree - and they don't have that degree mainly because they put so much value on the "content" aspect to the detriment of the "just fucking get it done and hand it in" aspect.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this other than to say that your essay reminded me of this theory. I guess I see more of the second aspect in what your colleagues are doing. And yes, I guess the system is flawed. Thank god there are people willing to challenge the status quo and reevaluate what we are all doing with our lives.
CP, you are so very right. I try to explain this to my high school students as well: that yes, they are right--some of this stuff they are being asked to do is hoop-jumping. But unfortunately, some hoop-jumping is ultimately required.
I guess the key is seeing the hoop-jumping for what it is.
A much more succinct way to put it. Hoop-jumping. Gracias.
Why, de nada.
Post a Comment

<< Home

My Photo

In a move that seems to amuse only me, I pull lines from the blogs I hit on the Next Blog button, and arrange them into found poem form.

April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / August 2010 / April 2011 /

Powered by Blogger