I had a funny moment last night… I had the TV on in the background while I was dealing with the dogs, fixing their food bowls, also cooking spinach because spinach is my new Health Plan …
Point is, I wasn’t paying attention to the television.
And I happened to catch a line.
Alex Trebek was interviewing the contestants, and I heard one saying (this is close to a direct quote): “. . . so I assign a lot of projects. They do a lot of independent learning. I guide from the side.”
That was his wrap-up.
I guide from the side.
And that was it, back to the game. No particular reaction from Alex, who, I think it’s fair to say, didn’t look enthusiastic. Then again, he didn’t look unenthusiastic, necessarily.
Two thoughts popped into my head at the exact same moment, then started ping-ponging back and forth vying for dominance. (Maybe spinach will fix that.)
My first thought: Common Core doesn’t seem to have put much of a dent in constructivism. Not that it was supposed to, really, but CC did have some instructivist elements. Plus a friend of mine, who teaches in the city, tells me kids there are now being taught phonics, so I was thinking there’d been some progress.
But maybe not.
Maybe it’s constructivism that’s on the rise.
I’ve always found it telling that no one ever calls himself, or herself, a constructivist. Yet here was a young teacher announcing, on national television, that he’s a guide on the side. He didn’t sound defensive.
Anyway, that was my first thought. Constructivism, still here. Possibly more here.
My second thought: You’re on Jeopardy.
Jeopardy, for pete’s sake !
There is no constructivist path to victory on Jeopardy.
I don’t get it.
He ended up losing pretty badly, which–I won’t lie–I enjoyed, but not before giving me a scare when he pulled into 2nd place after correctly answering some big-ticket questions while his two opponents flubbed theirs.
But in the end he closed out the game with $500.
Compared to the winner, who had $13,601.
Bonus points: I read a journal article on neoliberalism the other day, which pointed out that no one ever calls himself a neoliberal, either. Hah! I guess not. Of course, maybe I’ll turn on Jeopardy tomorrow and hear a contestant telling Alex he’s always been a big fan of the Phillips curve, ever since he was a little kid.