In this episode I interview Ryan D. Campbell, a teacher and associate principal who has spent the majority of his career in international schools.
Avid followers of this podcast and my blog, educationrickshaw.com, will know about my international school teaching experience in Vietnam, Sudan, and China. International schools vary in shape and size, but what almost all of them have in common is that they cater to the children of the rich and privileged. As you can imagine, the experience of teaching in a private school that charges 40,000 dollars a year and teaching in your typical American public school is vastly different. In all of the international schools I taught in, my class sizes were small – no more than 20 in most years – and my students were extremely respectful, studious, and motivated. Because the children could be depended upon to listen to adults and give their very best effort, it’s unsurprising that the progressive beliefs and constructivist-inspired teaching methods that I tend to criticize on this podcast were highly dominant in these schools.
Having now returned to the American public school system, it can be pretty annoying, to be honest, when people on social media claim that the violence, bullying, and disruptive behavior that teachers here suffer from daily could easily be solved by simply building relationships and asking students what they want to learn about. Oh, how easy it is to dismiss direct instruction and behavior management as “authoritarian” and based on a “dim view of human nature” when all it takes to get private school students to take school seriously is to occasionally remind them to. So, it was with these thoughts and frustrations in mind that I structured my interview with Ryan Campbell.
Ryan is one of those people I wanted to have on this show from day one of this podcast. He’s co-written several articles on various aspects of pedagogy, most often in collaboration with Christian Bokhove. He has Master degrees in both Organizational Psychology and Educational Leadership, but is a history teacher by trade. Our discussion ranges from the prog v. trad debates in education, to rubrics, to educational decision-making and leadership. So, please enjoy the latest episode of Progressively Incorrect, featuring Ryan D. Campbell.
Ryan’s Blog: Pendidikan Botak
Read: Revitalizing Rubrics