Odious and Peculiar

Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.

O&P's Current Pick:

Forging the Sampo

Odious' Links:

The Little Bookroom
The Pumpkin King
Larissa Archer
Inverted Iambs
Eve Tushnet
Pamela Dean
Kambodia Hotel
Pen and Paper

Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary
Deep-Sea News
NASA's Mars Website
Classics Online
Perseus Digital Library

Nine Scorpions
The Blithe Kitchen
Letter from Hardscrabble Creek
Arts & Letters Daily
About Last Night



Chas Clifton's Nature Blog
Rock Art Photo Blog
Girl on a Whaleship
Nature Lyrics Languagehat
Jabal al-Lughat
Laputan Logic
Strange Maps
Vladimir Dinets: Polymath Russian Adventurer
Virtual Tour of Almaty, Kazakhstan
Aerial Landscape Photography
USGS Earth As Art
Panoramic Aerial Maps of the American West

The Internet Bird Collection
Bird Families of the World
Ancient Scripts
The Aberdeen Bestiary Project
The Cephalopod Page
The Ultimate Ungulate
The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
USGS Streamflow Data

Worthy Miscellany
Finno-Ugrian Music
Boojum Expeditions
American River Touring Association

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Monday, February 03, 2003
Something appalling:

The following piece of intel was provided by our undercover operative in the public school system. It is a representative question chosen (by us) out of many on a teacher competancy exam.

Question: In a classroom that includes a culturally diverse group of students, learning is most likely to be enhanced if the teacher ensures that:

A: Concepts related to cultural differences are de-emphasized and the ideas of cultural homogeneity and conformity are stressed.

B: Each student is encouraged to examine issues and materials primarily from the perspective of his or her own cultural background.

C: Opportunities for recognizing and valuing cultural similarities and differences are integrated into all aspects of the curriculum.

D: Student discussions related to aspects of culture focus on factual information rather than individual perceptions.

Astute observers of modern culture will no doubt guess which answer is officially 'correct.' Needless to say, it is not the one which involves factual information. But however noxious the implicit doctrines here may be, there's no arguing with results: judge for yourself.

Update: Our operative has just been told by her school's administration that she cannot fail more than ten percent of her students. "She cannot"!?! In a science class, a hard subject? What the hell has it got to do with her? The feckless little ignoramuses are the ones failing here. Even were our operative not an excellent educator, even if the teacher himself is partly to blame, those who demonstrate failure have in fact failed. Again, factual information seems to be deemed unimportant by those into whose hands the government sees fit to place our children.