Matt Damon’s Mom, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Talks Public Education



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I became a teacher and then a

I became a teacher and then a school counselor in the same era as Nancy,. It was a time of inspired learning via project based instruction that accommodated all learning styles of children, and allowed them to develop higher level thinking skills and scientific thinking. Most children have a natural gift for scientific thinking because of their powerful curiosity and amazing imagination. However, in the current culture of Common Core, creative thinking is stifled by scripted command and drill, which looks more like a mimi boot camp than authentic teaching; or, like obedience training for dogs and circus animals instead of a healthy holistic learning environment for children. My observations about the decline of education from this obsession with high stakes testing and the "one size fits all" of Common Core are the same as Nancy described. . We no longer have inspired learning in a safe environment of "thrive", but "fearful" learning in a punitive authoritarian environment of "survive". This causes more primitive thinking rather than developing higher thinking skills. The school environment now uses a pedagogy like that of Germany during the decades leading up to WWII. It focuses only on performance and does not provide for children's social and emotional needs. It is sociopathic teaching. I wrote articles about the institutional psychological abuse in this environment, but few politicians listen to mental health professionals. Therefore, I wrote the same message in a Dr Seuss poem that politicians might understand. Here is a copy that you can share:


Joyce Murdock Feilke more than 2 years ago

As a substitute teacher, I

As a substitute teacher, I have been in four pre-k classes this year, all in Kanawha County WVa. A common theme in all four rooms are pictures of children from around the world in various costumes. Also in two of the four classes rooms there were posters in Spanish. Also, as you might expect, parental involvement is much greater at this age.

Chris Reed more than 2 years ago

As a former preschool teacher

As a former preschool teacher and administrator, I agree with Nancy -- especially the answer to the last question.

Nancee Noel more than 2 years ago

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