Monday, May 15, 2017

Watch out for the COPS!

As many teachers know, COPS is an editing strategy often taught to kids. It stands for Capitalisation, Organisation, Punctuation, Spelling. Are these the things we need to be editing for and why?
In looking at the Horizon Project, I found myself editing these things almost automatically. I also looked at wording or phrasing, and conciseness. What led me to change something? If I felt there was a better way, which I had been taught as the standard way, I simply changed it.
But is this valid? Is it even necessary? Perhaps the digital immigrants such as I need to get out of the way. Perhaps the digital natives don't need any COPS to help them comprehend. Jeff Mason cites Bruno Giussani's blog about an interesting research project The kids only used standard language when it was useful to them. Language is used for commumication. You are using it right now to read my blog post. If you talk about it, you will be using language to orally communicate. If you use pictures or photos, that is yet another language. If you use music, that is yet (and I think often the best, being a musician) another communication.
So why is a standard needed, except to pass school? Is there a standard-form used in the business world, where most of our graduates are heading? Maybe it is more important to emphasize problem solving, critical analysis, and creativity, rather than that standard form of language which was pummeled into my head.
I studied German. High German. My relatives speak (pause as I think of the English term here...) Bavarian. So I had to learn two languages. I'm sure the same is true for other languages except Latin and ancient Greek. Is it cost-effective to teach this way?
Ethnocentrism. Why do I assume that my culture is the dominant one? I have been raised to not even question this assumption, but I find it is not at all Christ-like. I need to examine myself more closely and to become more aware of assumptions that I carry around. And then I need to create an environment for my students to do the same.
As you can gather, I was wrong. Ethnocentrically wrong. I hope to use this experience as a springboard for my learning and through it to become just a little more like He would want me to be.
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