The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 29, 2013

Letter: Student-centered method limits teachers


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — I just resigned as a teacher at Emerson.

I could not ethically teach using the student-centered approach Enid schools insisted on. This calls for students teaching each other in groups or paired off during the class period after the teacher makes a brief presentation.

At best, it limits the teacher and at other times seemed like the blind leading the blind.

There is a place for students to help each other in groups with the teacher only presenting a problem at the beginning of class, but not every day, as Enid school officials insist. There also are subjects where this method is not the best approach.

Yet, Enid school principals are enforcing this single method for all core subjects to the point that one current principal told a teacher to instruct latitude and longitude without using maps or a globe.

Many Enid teachers have been here for decades. Many are very effective, using teaching methods that have developed from years of experience. Now, suddenly school administrators are telling them they are ineffective unless they use this new method.

Enid schools may also have spent too much on technology and not on basics. Classes are still crowded and no allowance has been made for lower-income families.

During one meeting, it was brought up that several students could not do electronic homework because their families could not afford computers. The response was those students could go to the public library at night to do their homework.

I could see a parent watching as the 8 p.m. closing time for Enid Public Library got close and their child still not able to get on a computer because someone got there first. Respectfully,

David M. Coppock

Enid