RE: [xmca] change in education

From: Carol Macdonald (
Date: Sun Jul 31 2005 - 06:16:57 PDT

Dear XMCA'ers
Actually it is easy to change something in education if it is politically
motivated (and probably the only situation of it being possible). South
Africa embarked on a suicidal mission of changing the curriculum to a
perversion of outcome-based education, and six years later we have a whole
generation of children who are illiterate and innunumerate. The govt was so
keen that voters see that something was done to change the old one (still
associated in people's minds, though not necessarily in practice, with
apartheid) before the 2000 elections that they rushed through a totally new
curriculum in a matter of months. The new curriculum is psychologically
and pedagogically bankrupt, and the children have become the victims. As
part of another larger project in 2006, I am going to do an extended
critique of the curriculum based on what it has done to teacher's
understanding of their role (since we already have horrendous data from
research on the students, including research of my own). I know my graduate
teachers don't understand the basis of OBE, principally because the concepts
are very nearly vacuous. I supply them with a rich diet of Vygotsky and
Piaget to help them.

So, there you are-there is one case in which change (for the worse) has been


-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Michael Erickson
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2005 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] change in education

Dear all xmcaers
Around the turn of the century (circa 1902) Woodrow Wilson, then president
of Princeton University, commented that it is easier to move a graveyard
than to change anything in education. Needless to say, he was frustrated by
his institution's response to any change.

It's a long difficult battle because of all the factors and special interest
groups of power who balk at any change. The good olde days always look
better than they really were. They fail to see that objects in the rear view
mirror may appear better than they are.

Michael E.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell, Donna L" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 7:21 PM
Subject: [xmca] change in education

Hello Everyone

In reference to the article sent my mike cole on kozlyn and davidoff on
change in education:

I have previously taught for 14 years in a variety of classrooms including
St. Louis Public schools. I have a background in instructional design and
educational technology. I currently study how teachers implement change in
their classrooms- primarily their use of technology - using activity theory.
Here at UMKC I am implementing research of urban classrooms in the Kansas
City school districts..

I sincerely believe that there is a potential for a paradigm shift in
education by developing constructivist-based learning environmnents based on
cog theory and embedding advanced learning technologies in a meaningful and
an authentic manner. It has been my experience that these educational
experiences are productive in suburban, rural, and urban schools. However,
there are many barriers for teachers who wish to innovate in urban

I attempt through my SC research design to develop AT-based models of
effective innovation in diverse educational settings so these models can be
used to develop profesisonal development programs in varied educational
settings so educators can innovate successfully and serve their increasingly
diverse students productively.


Donna L. Russell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Instructional Technology
Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
309 School of Education
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kansas City, MO 64110
(office) 816.235.5871
(cell) 314.210.6996

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