Re: the right to pursue excellence (OBE)
Sat, 10 May 1997 01:45:33 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 97-05-09 14:41:43 EDT, Deborah wrote:

<< My understanding of why conservatives object to OBE is because it lowers
standards. The self-esteem of the under-achiever is of highest concern.
It removes all incentives for acheivement. The educational 'process' is
everything. Facts and 'right' answers are secondary. >>

Hoo boy! Now I am spinning! DBYates says that OBE has to do with setting
goals for achievement and letting people get to them (and help others get to
them) by their own idiosyncratic means. This is what sounds good to me,
assuming one has to have such standards set at all. What I most objected to
as a public school teacher was that some folks wanted to judge my work by the
noise level in the room, the fact that kids read while lying on the carpet or
on couches, and that I wanted them to call me "Alan". What I wanted them to
assess me on was the phenomenal learning that the kids were doing!

I'm still not clear why it necessarily follows that OBE lowers standards. I
also don't see where conservatives see the emphasis on "self-esteem" within
OBE. But then again, I don't see anything wrong with emphasising TRUE
self-esteem, anyway! It has been shown in brain/memory research that we
remember more facts and connections among those facts when we have positive
feelings about what we are doing. Plus, when I feel good about myself, I
waste less energy in worrying and spend more energy in learning!