It is easier to contrive a situation than to engage in an honest dialog about it. Many of us teachers believe that learning comes only from "real world" hands on experience.
We discount academic learning because it's boring. Of course my 'œreal world' is distinctly different from the real world that rational people experience. Let me give you an example: I teach mathematics to seventh and eight graders. Everything is computerized these days. We give each student a virtual store credit and a shopping list. We send the students out to the store to acquire the goods on their list. What we fail to reveal is that we have rigged the store they must shop in. We have set up all manner of clever ruses, gimmicks, deceptions, traps and the like to bamboozle our silly students into making unwise shopping decisions. When they are called to account for "their actions" we can chastise them for failing to be: frugal, cognoscente, scrupulous, discriminating, etc. This, is what our critics call laziness.
They may be right. Because when we manipulate reality to intentionally cause error, we leave the real world we care to instruct about - behind. So, when a student is duped by phony pricing, unconverted metrics, uncorrected errors, out of stock items, cash register miscalculations, switched labeling etc, etc. etc. - we remove the experience from reality.
We create a little Oz-like world where most things run backwards, sideways or not at all. We like to tell ourselves (me and my fellow teachers) that we are providing the experiences that will forever instill the proper responses in our students. We are forcing them to acquire skills that will be ever so helpful when they get back into the "real world."
But our critics say all we do is confound ourselves and our students to boot. Because Oz is not the real world. Life, though we fantasize that it would be, is not a game. What we are being told is that our acts of deception effectively nullify the lesson we purport to teach. Why? Because the students are hip to our games. If they were ignorant of our trickery - our ruses might just work as intended. But this new breed of student is far more perceptive than those in the past. Yet, we have not altered our methods of teaching. We have refused to adapt. In my co-worker's words, "Change sucks!" And so, we are coming to be known as lazy.
It is ever so infuriating actually. Which is just what we have caused our students to experience all these years. Frustration. Just the other day a student told me that intentionally over-billing their accounts was no different than stealing! Stealing? Me?? I beg your pardon you two bit gutter snipe! In the old days I would have roundly cuffed her about the head and face.
These days we limit our corporal punishment to contrived "accidents." If someone gets too far out of line - they have an "accident." That's just how decrepit some of us have become. We have cast away any sense of honor, decency, dignity or moral value. To teach and to be moral is an impossible task for those of us trapped in our faded ways.
It does take work to teach without using trickery. It takes a lot of work. And thought. And honesty. And hey, we just ain't paid enough for all that! So, yeah, I guess you could say we are a little lazy. Who really likes new ideas anyway? I'd rather be called lazy and keep getting a pay check than have to re-think my whole view of education. I just ain't paid to do that. Call it what you will. I call these new ideas fanciful bullshit.