Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Print Friendly and PDF I have just been browsing through (see it here)

A big title for what might be important, as a whole slew of states are officially in on it.

Exercising my normal skepticism, I checked it for some of what I think should be the normal curricular phrases. One search has me wondering. I used the Acrobat Reader's find tool and asked to find uses of the words spell " and "spelling".  The word "spell" did not appear in the 98 page document, and the word "spelling" appeared once, in the sentence "In all student writing, the use of specific facts and descriptive details is emphasized, as is correct spelling and punctuation. "

Now that sentence appears in the 3rd grade section of the document. At no other grade level do these words appear.

Having seen careless spelling gradually expand into our media (perhaps largely in thanks to the not-always-correct spell checker), this scares me.

Evidently the laxity in spelling exists outside of the US. According to an article by Laura Clark in the Daily Mail out of England (see it here), a school has the following guideline in its policies: "Teaching staff are not to highlight any more than three incorrect spellings on any piece of work. This is in order that the children’s self-confidence is not damaged."

The placing of self-confidence (and its companion self-esteem) above the development of skills and knowledge that lead to self-confidence and self-esteem is another of the well-intentioned but misguided trends in education.  Feeling good about oneself has been taking precedence as a means rather than an end.

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