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Many school administrators and others are urging that this Fall schools begin with virtual-only settings. That is a bad idea, a bad idea that is the product of a snow-flake mind-set that shows us who is responsible for the snow-flakiness of our recent crops of snow-flake students.
Virtual-only learning can work for highly motivated students. No doubt about that. But few K-12/college students are as eager to learn as a 30-year-old stuck with a bad job or with no job. If students are to get a proper education, especially the younger ones, they need the caring and competent supervision that is impossible with virtual-only instruction. My granddaughters recently did well after two months of virtual-only learning in high school, but they had responsible supervision and lots of encouragement. Most of their classmates (70% by one count) learned little or nothing during the virtual-only closing months of the academic year. Those who failed were allowed to loaf, or their parents were working or away from home working or goofing-off, and, consequently, were unavailable to help even if they were inclined to do so.
And what about working parents? Should they continue to work and leave their children at home alone for virtual-only learning,? Has any fan of virtual-only learning ever seen the movie, “Home Alone”? Should working parents quit their jobs, and, in effect, shut down their household economies as Drs. Brix and Fauci nearly shut down the U.S. economy? Should we expect the typical young person left alone at home to master quadratic equations?
We now know that very young students, and special needs students, and students whose first language is not English — including students whose language or dialect is Ebonics — do not do well with virtual-only instruction. Administrators and educators admit that these students “possibly will be affected more than others” by virtual-only instruction. This is an admission that the “others” also will be (negatively) affected, but worse, it is an admission that administrators are willing to short-change these a-typical students in the interest of minimal-risk-health-safety. But safety should be the priority of our Police, our Firefighters, our Armed Forces, and our criminal justice system, not of school administrators.
Already these administrators are hearing from concerned parents and teachers who distrust virtual-only instruction, an innovation and the most recent step downward toward ignorance ever since the establishment of John Dewey’s progressive education a century ago. Dewey’s system and its modifications have failed. It will continue to fail. It has graduated thousands from High School who cannot fill out a job application at Burger King,. But it has produced more than just illiterates. Progressive education has produced rioters, looters, arsonists, and worse. If parents and the general public want more of that, then virtual -only instruction is the way to go. Otherwise, it is time to send innovative educational fads to the city dump. and require administrators and educators to return to traditional, time-tested methods of teaching.
Just think of it this way: virtual-only learning is to education what pornographic movies are to lawful procreation.