Date: Feb 19, 2012 1:21 AM
Subject: TAG Education
Robert Hansen Posted: Feb 18, 2012 7:19 PM
>Haim, can you expand on this definition please?
>On Feb 18, 2012, at 4:53 PM, Haim wrote:
>> - --------------------------------
>> Before we continue, let us be clear that we are
>> talking about "real" TAG education and we know what
>> it looks like. To see real TAG education, you can
>> look to Johns Hopkins' CTY and to Stanford U's EPGY.
>> There are some other examples around the country,
>> like NYC's Stuyvesant High School.
>> The common denominator in all these cases is
>> an "optimally matched" (this is a term of art)
>> challenging academic curriculum with measures of
>> achievement and the possibility of failure.
> - -----------------------------------
Real TAG education is just an academic curriculum taught as you think it ought to be taught. The whole of the theoretical machinery developed by Johns Hopkins (CTY) and Stanford (EPGY) is to excuse and explain why they are teaching calculus to students who are ready, willing, and able to learn calculus---even if the students are 10 yrs old.
For example, "Optimal Match" is the phrase from CTY. The idea is that you start at the student's actual academic level and work from there. So, if the child knows the differential calculus, even if he is in grade 5, then you start at the differential calculus, not at long division.
You like music analogies. Well, if the child can play the Bach Harpsichord Concerto in D minor,
do not make him work on Hot Cross Buns for the next six months,
The only question about Optimal Match that ever occured to me is: why does anyone need this explanation? It's like inventing a fancy phrase to explain why you should zip up your fly. It is a good idea to zip up your fly, but how intellectual do we have to get about it? Similarly, why does it have to be explained to anyone that if a kid is way beyond arithmetic, you should not hold him back on arithmetic?
But, you see, in American public education, it does have to be explained. And, lots and lots of educators will not accept the explanation.
So, there is really nothing to explain about real TAG education. All the explanatory energy has to go into describing and explaining what passes for TAG education in the public schools. Since it is way past my bedtime, let me give you the short version for now: it's a fraud. Furthermore, it is a fraud that smart kids catch onto right away. And that is why TAG kids run away from TAG education as fast as their little legs will carry them, just as you observed.
The only explanation I have ever been able to work out for why the Education Mafia does TAG education the way they do is that they have an abiding faith in the salutary properties of insensate boredom. That, and THE PRIME DIRECTIVE.
Shovel ready? What shovel ready?