Jean K. Quam: American Dream lives on at the U

  • Article by: JEAN K. QUAM
  • Updated: November 27, 2009 - 3:38 PM

And with the right approach to training teachers, it's a dream all can share.

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scho0535Nov. 26, 0911:18 PM

Nothing pleases me more than reading thoughtful, well-written comments and editorials discussing a topic in which the author is versed on the facts, and qualified to speak about them. Thank you for your elightening response to the half-facts anf half-truths that a previous article presented.

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prothersNov. 26, 0911:34 PM

Ok, that is the most politically correct Commentary I have read in awhile. Did the author even answer the questions in KK's editorial? Or is it just a bunch of "whitewash" to dismiss the facts?

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wbgleasonNov. 26, 0911:35 PM

I don't ordinarily agree with much that Katherine Kersten writes, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. One of the foremost academic bloggers, George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan, has sadly concluded about the College of Education and Human Develpment: "Who but an idiot would apply to this school?" Interested readers might want to read her full post at: http://www.margaretsoltan.com/?p=19663. Therein she quotes a U of M task force document as stating: "Dispositions assessment for new candidates approved (includes consultation with UMN general council) [sic]." And "The professor who wrote it doesn’t know how to spell counsel. The same professor looks forward to subjecting applicants to the school to an assessment of their cultural competence – cultural competence here being what the task force tells applicants it is." The FIRE group has caught wind of this mess and we are now under the microscope nationally. You've got a chance to straighten out this mess and show the kind of leadership that we need at the U. Please do it.

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jnkoNov. 27, 09 4:40 AM

Reaffirmed in my opinion. She spent the first paging saying absolutely nothing. "Broad Visions" "ongoing research" "50 faculty members...seven task groups" "now is a critical time to address barriers" and blah blah blah. I especially liked "as the premier public research institution".

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codger_56Nov. 27, 09 4:49 AM

sounds like nice double talk.Nothing here states exactly what the proposal are and what is required.Its time to hold the university responsible. I can't believe the money that this place gets for the B.S. they come up with. time for Budget cutting

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langton4Nov. 27, 09 7:41 AM

I know her opinion but didn't see any facts in her column.

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redorblueNov. 27, 09 7:59 AM

Appropriate for Thanksgiving - GobbleDeeGook. Alot of words that mean nothing. Try writing with clarity and conciseness, Dean Quam. Your message got lost in the GobbleDeeGook. A good example of what you get with outdated policies like Tenure.

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pdxtranNov. 27, 09 9:32 AM

It's that most of what they teach is useless in the classroom, and it's been like that for decades. I dropped out of the teaching program at my undergraduate college because I couldn't stand the pointless coursework or the textbooks that read as if they had been written by sleepy bureaucrats. (They sure put me to sleep!) Teachers DO need training, as I found out during my first difficult years as a college instructor, but what was most helpful was getting advice from and attending practical seminars run by experienced instructors: how to present a lesson in a clear and organized manner, how to check periodically to see whether the students understand your lesson, how to hold their attention and keep them from disrupting the class, how to help them apply the material in the real world, and how to evaluate them fairly. Frankly, when I taught on the college level, the professors of education had the reputation of being the worst teachers on campus, and when interacting with colleagues, they tended to expound the latest fad ("Don't teach the students arithmetic! Just teach them how to use calculators!") without having thought about the matter.

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cailinNov. 27, 09 9:33 AM

It's impossible to "refute" unsupported opinion, paranoia, and deliberate incitement to mindless fear and hatred. This, and not some unparalleled persuasive or argumentative brilliance, is why the targets of Kersten's broadsides cannot "refute" her "arguments". The best course for anyone targeted by a Kersten column? -- ignore it. Like the playground bully -- if you ignore her long enough and don't give her attention when she acts out, sooner or later we can all hope she'll just shut up and go away. (If she were actually going through something resembling a maturation progress, one might even hope that she'd recognize the harm she's doing and acquire a sense of shame...but that's just a pipe dream, I know

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granma4peaceNov. 27, 09 9:35 AM

"me good, you bad" to actually make an intelligent argument is always going to be gobbledegook to the right wing trolls.

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