Thursday, September 10, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 3 (15)


CHAPTER 3: LITERATURE REVIEW (part 15 - final)

Technology and Globalism


Before establishing Bethany M. Baxter & Associates, Inc., Bethany Baxter was a member of the IBM Higher Education Consulting Group for eight years. During that time, she facilitated strategic planning for information systems in more than 60 educational institutions in the United States and Canada.
Nineteenth-century American schools, generally one-room schoolhouses, featured students of many ages and skill levels working on a variety of lessons in a single classroom. Based on the experiences of my grandmother, who taught in a one room schoolhouse; my father and aunts and uncles, who attended these schools; and my own experience in 1962, teaching in a rural high school where the students had attended one-room elementary schools through seventh grade, I am convinced that the one-room schoolhouse model meets the needs of individual students in a way that our modern schools typically do not.
During the days of the one-room schoolhouse, a teacher—with one year of normal school and no other adult support—was able to effectively reach 30 children ranging in age from 5 to 16 because each child’s education was based on an individualized lesson plan.
Mastery learning was the norm; children did not move on until they mastered the topic they were studying. Progress may have been slow or even non-existent, but no one expected children simply to move at a pace set by the teacher.(1)
Modern work gurus like Peter Drucker and William Bridges, along with famous technocrats like Bill Gates and Michael Dell, write books promoting the use of computers to develop individualized instruction that can move a student from one level of mastery to another.

It is very important to examine the use of technology in modern education, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. Even so, remember that a machine cannot disciple a student to choose wisdom over folly. That takes an adult who desires to sacrificially model the love of Christ.

The literature reviewed makes the case that some of the great thinkers of the twentieth century saw historically effective educational techniques being replaced by modern, untested ideas. Remember, Experiment House was the name of Lewis’s hated school in The Chronicles of Narnia.(2)


(1) Bethany M. Baxter, “Returning to the One-room Schoolhouse” (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2000), (accessed 11 December 2008).
(2) C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair (New York: Collier, 1970), 5.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

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