By SAM BLUMENFELD | THE NEW AMERICAN | DECEMBER 3, 2012
Several years ago, a friend of mine in Kentucky, who had been keeping me abreast of how Outcome Education was being implemented in the public schools of that state, sent me a description of Cooperative Learning, written by a high school student who had experienced it in his classroom. Here is what the student wrote, uncorrected by this writer:
I am a freshman in Highschool and recently in Spanish class our teacher introduced us to a teaching method called “cooperative learning.” In cooperating learning the teacher divides you into group[s] of four or five. He holds each and every student personally responsible for their group’s learning. Anytime we do work he takes one of the students assignments for each group and gives each person in that group the same grade as the person’s he took up.
When we take a quiz he gives each student the average grade for their group, therefore this could easily lower the “excelled” student’s grade and improve the student’s who slack off. My teacher believes that we should be responsible for teaching our fellow classmates in our group. My classmates and I feel as if this is unjust, and now we have spoken with our principal about this. As of now, we have not made any more progress toward finding a solution.
An example of this would be on a Spanish quiz out of 16 possible points. I scored a 15 and the other three grades were 13, 9, and 5. This lowered my 15 to a 10.5, which is a 66%. Cooperative learning lowered my 15 (94%) to a 10.5 (66%).
For years, Charlotte Iserbyt has been warning us that public education has been taken over by communists (small “c”). As a senior staff member of the U.S. Department of Education, she had access to the correspondence and grant proposals of America’s top educational operatives. She put all of that documentation in her remarkable book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, published in 1991.
Cooperative learning, as described by the student, is indeed a good example of communism in the classroom. The student is not judged by his individual effort but as a member of a group. According to Wikipedia, progressive social theorists such as Allport, Watson, Shaw, and Mead began advancing the idea that students working in a group was a more effective form of education than students working individually. But in actuality, group learning did not improve the work of the low achiever.