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“雷夫中国行”之亲历记

(2012-04-15 18:59:42)
标签:

雷夫

第56号教室

教育

分类: 白丁黑丁

(一)

上月67两日,应林茶居兄的邀请,赴北京参加雷夫•艾斯奎斯的报告会。据说这是雷夫第一次来中国,故引起了教育界的热切关注,报名参加者云集,仿佛来了个名歌星,大家蜂拥着去赶场,去目睹真人版的风采。

于是我也顺势调整心态,将自己装扮成“追星者”的模样。先从网上购得雷夫所撰写的所有书籍:

《第56号教室的奇迹:成功无捷径》(天津社会科学院出版社,20094月)

《第56号教室的奇迹:让孩子变成爱学习的天使》(中国城市出版社,20098月)

《第56号教室的奇迹:点燃孩子的热情》(中国城市出版社,20123月)

当然,也费了巨额买到了其中两本的英文版:

There Are No Shortcuts Anchor, 2004

Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire Viking, Penguin Groups, 2007“雷夫中国行”之亲历记

购买英文版的原因,是怕雷夫在报告中引到的例子(包括书名、人名等),无法在中文版中找到对应;另一个不可告人的念头是,万一有机会与明星雷夫搭上话,这些英文著作或许便成为交流的“抓手”。可惜另一本英文书Lighting Their Fires: How Parents and Teachers Can Raise Extraordinary Kids in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up WorldPenguin Groups, 2010当时在网上未找到,后来待发现时,却被告知已“缺货”。

老实说,雷夫的书,前几年即有人向我推介,但当时我尚且不屑一顾。因为这些年中,教育界的时尚接二连三,大多昙花一现、有始无终。故我自以为“闭关自守”方可以防止受教育的毒害。孰料拿到书之后,随意翻看几页,即发现别有洞天,对书中述说的案例,居然能记忆清晰,逢人谈论时,亦能信手拈来,不觉惊讶至极。

譬如雷夫年轻时,每当被人问起为什么对孩子们如此热情、甘于奉献时,他都会回答说:“因为有一天,我希望大街上的人们能冲着我呼喊着‘瞧,雷夫过来了,他可是我见过的最好的老师。’”

这一回答似乎无可厚非。倘若现在有年轻的老师表达这般志气,领导一定会大加赞赏。但正当雷夫自鸣得意时,他未来的妻子芭芭拉却严厉地指出:他的这一说法仅仅是将孩子当作帮衬。雷夫如梦初醒,发现自己对职业的美好憧憬无非是掩耳盗铃,根本无益于学生,遂重新调整了自己对待教师职业、对待学生的态度。

这里便引出一个传统而又严肃的话题:我们在教育教学时,是否真地在为学生着想?不幸的是,那些自以为了解儿童、关心儿童的教育专家们,虽然高喊着“一心为儿童”的口号,究其行为的本质,却无不是自私的、功利的。

《第56号教室的奇迹:成功无捷径》一书,大约是雷夫的“教育励志书”,其中讲述的,大多是他在第56号教室中所遭遇的困境及他顽强拼搏的作为。读了他的许多故事,读者或许会由衷地想到,雷夫应该被评为“劳模”。的确,他“忘我工作”,为了给他的学生买书筹钱,同时做了好几种兼职工作,其中之一竟是某某咖啡店的厕所侍应生!至于《第56号教室的奇迹:让孩子变成爱学习的天使》一书,则大多讲述他在教育教学上的探索。严格地说,雷夫的教学,并未像国内的“名师”那般,动辄以某某理论为依托,亦没有形成专门的“教学模式”或“教学风格”。他唯一可以自诩为“理论”的“道德发展六阶段”(Six Levels of Moral Development),也是从柯尔伯格那里借过来的。但他的高明之处,则是对“课程”的充分理解。譬如他的阅读课程中,尤其强调对名著的欣赏;他还组织学生进行戏剧的排演、乐器的演奏,而尤为令人刮目相看的,是他每年带领孩子出去观光,并在观光活动中融入了他对公民教育、学科知识、历史文化等诸因素的理解和希冀。

雷夫这三本书的英文原著,说得机智俏皮,但仍无法掩盖其对教育、对社会的悲观情绪。这些书的读者对象,乃是一般的教师,故他的语言,也是简单朴素,从不卖弄学问与知识。可惜的是,中文的译本,却是将这些著作当成了“教师培训用书”。《成功无捷径》之中文版,还自作主张地篡改了章节名称,增加了画蛇添足的分章节名。这于理解原文,反造成了障碍。更可笑的是,文中居然出现“雷夫先生”这一哪怕是中学生亦知道的文化错误。

 

(二)

 

5日晚上,我从杭州飞至北京。因为飞机晚点,到北京时已是子夜时分,但茶居兄仍坚持给我接风,并在寒风中寻到一家小店一同吃酒说话。次日早晨他又早起唤我一道去北大之“百周年纪念讲堂”听雷夫的报告。茶居兄与人真诚热心,这几日倘没有他的照料,我大约早就迷失北京街头了。“雷夫中国行”之亲历记

雷夫的中国之行,除了北京,尚有上海、深圳两地。主办方是一个叫作“北京新学校研究院”的机构。我对这个机构并不熟悉,但看其阵营,似乎与十一中学有密切关系。活动的主持人是李振村先生,虽然与之有过交往,却从未欣赏过其主持风格,此次在北京,方见识到他那幽默、恣意、大气的台上风范。

因为此次活动定在周二周三,再加上门票昂贵(北京场的要价在千元以上),故参加活动者,并非一般的教师,而至少是学校的领导。据说活动期间,有两位“厅长” 亦过来观摩,可见雷夫的粉丝团构成,着实不一般。由于雷夫说的是英文,故每位听众都被配了一副“同声传译器”,但我戴上后即发现是坏产品,加之雷夫的英语速度缓慢、语言简单,遂抛弃了这一鸟科技,转而裸听。

雷夫在第一天的报告中,并无《通知》上所开列的“为中国孩子上一堂课”。我进场时,他正滔滔不绝地讲述他和学生间的关系,其中案例,大多出自他的书,这多少令我有点失望。所以我就翻出随身带来的他撰写的英文书,寻找对比,以为乐趣。期间中场休息后,主办方组织一位孩子上台演奏古筝,又寻到一位当年与雷夫有通讯往来的小学生,之后雷夫与之对话、合影。这一招有点类似电视上的情感节目。不过当雷夫与孩子站在一起时,眼睛顿时放大发亮,我于是明白,原来他的爱好与乐趣,竟在与孩子的交往之中。后来在上海的报告会中,不知怎么的,雷夫在与一位孩子交谈时,单膝跪地。这张照片后来被媒体大大地炒作了一番——这恐怕是雷夫不能预料到的。

下午按照日程,雷夫回答“中国教师最想问的20个问题”。这些问题,是活动之前在网上征集的,被选中的提问者,还可免费参加该活动。我的朋友唐泽霞君就是其中的幸运儿之一,可惜她因为身体原因,不能远行,乃委托我仔细聆听,事后将问题之解答转告与她。说句老时候,在大屏幕播放“问题”之前,我就大致猜到了这些问题的内容(无论怎样的场合,中国教师能提出的问题,大抵如此。)但对雷夫而言,他压根不明白中国的教育体制,故他的回答,基本上答非所问。我在底下听得着急,恨不得冲上去替他回答,好排解因为文化隔阂而带给他的尴尬。

“雷夫中国行”之亲历记譬如,有一位老师提出的问题是:“在当前中国教育的大背景下,您认为中国的教育应该如何做好和实施学生的个性化教育?”这位提问者或许是将雷夫当成了美国教育部长;还有一位老师,恨铁不成钢,问雷夫“中国的基础教育很扎实”,却为何培养不出像诺贝尔奖获得者那样的“世界级的大师”?此时雷夫不惜抖露他的隐私,说那些诺贝尔奖获得者未必都是好鸟,他自己的女儿就在这样的鸟的手下干活,然则照样被吃了豆腐。这些问题如今在网上有发布,总体来看,大多起点高调、面子很大,但又无不带有中国式的僵硬思维,对一般教师而言,几无参考价值。“命题回答”之后,还有在不同环节下的“自由答问”,那就更为滑稽可笑了。有一位仿佛是领导模样的老师,指责雷夫第56号教室的学生们的“早至晚归”,属于加班加点,“增加了学生负担”。我猜这位兄弟在提问前,一定没有仔细读过雷夫的书,不明白雷夫在增加的时间内,到底给孩子们辅导了什么?也不明白这些孩子是带着怎样的情绪去“早至晚归”的?

关于问答环节,还要多说几句。有一名自称是“美国公民教育中心”的刘先生,在问答过程中充当了翻译。不幸的是,该先生虽然在美国呆了不少时日,但翻译的水平实在太烂,既便不懂英文的教师们,亦能清楚辨别——好在后期组委会另请一位MM接替。这位MM据说是留美博士,语言的表达倒是十分的在行。后来在上海的活动中,那位刘先生便知趣不做翻译了。

第二日上午的内容十分重要。其一是雷夫的专场演讲:运用道德发展六阶段理解孩子。“道德发展六阶段”是科尔伯格的研究成果,雷夫在他的教育之中,非常高明地将之简化运用。不过演讲所涉及到的,仍未超出书中所言。但是他读了一封毕业出去的孩子的来信,却是书中没有的:

…There was a rape or child abuse case at least once a week at school, and policemen were seen frequently on our campus. Yet during the fifth grade, when I walked in Room 56, everything changed. The world outside stopped existing and disappeared. Instead of game fights and beggars, my life turned to guitar lessons and history productions and Shakespeare. My fears and horrors were replaced by happiness and laughter. It became my second home, and my classmates my second families. I did most of my growing-up in Room 56 and they shaped and molded me into the person I’ve become today. No matter what else was happening anywhere of the world all my troubles could be fixed in this safe heaven. And I hastily retreat to it because I had family troubles. And even today, when I’m looking for a place, when there was only love with joy, where anger and hatred do not exist, I still retreat to Room 56.

“雷夫中国行”之亲历记

那日上午的第二个内容,是雷夫与中国教师的对话。在座名家有李希贵、华应龙、李茂及魏勇等,其中内容已基本忘却。之后是雷夫与李希贵之间的“命题对话”,我虽然将之录音下来,但至今未能抠出文字,只记得当李振村先生问到“中国美国中小学教育面临的最大危机是什么?”时,两位教师的回答大相径庭。雷夫因为长期生活在“民工子弟学校”,所以脱口而出,道最大的问题是贫穷。他直言不讳道:When children go home without books, without proper clothing, of course those children do not do well in schools.而李希贵先生则认为,这个危机是“下传上不达”,即我们在课堂内遇到的真正的问题,没有得到解决,没有将对一线教师的理解传递到上面的教育行政部门。我听到此处,忽然刻薄地认为:李希贵先生或许在替美国说话,而雷夫却在为中国呐喊。因为去年的这个时候,我被要求写一篇关于“乡村教育”的文章时,便深刻而又沮丧地认识到,中国的教育问题,再大亦大不过乡村教育中的各类困境了!

 

(三)

 

虽然每次去听雷夫的报告时,总费力地将我购到的书一并带去,但要雷夫“签名”,却从第一天就被宣告无望。主持人告诉大家,因为雷夫“旅行疲劳”,甚至连时差都没有倒过来,故各位如若要获取签名,可与之发邮件索取。我想不到“签名”还可以有电子版的批发,遂恨恨地作罢。后来朱文君女士感动于我对雷夫的着迷,在上海替我设法弄到了一本雷夫亲笔签名书,也算给我一个安慰。“雷夫中国行”之亲历记

其实雷夫在北京(据说包括上海等地)的行踪,是被组委会严格控制的。事后有人告诉我,由于雷夫的任何行动都是被安排的,故他连接收记者的名片的机会都没有。这意味着雷夫之中国行,毕竟是一种商业的行为。我在北京时,便见雷夫一旦演讲结束,便被人簇拥下台。如此情景下,要获取他的签名,难怪是天方夜谭了。不仅如此,金铭君在雷夫上海报告会后,在其博客上贴了几则消息,居然被告知需要删除,原因是“版权问题”。对于商业行为,我并不懂多少,但其中的可笑之处,恐怕是雷夫来华前万万没有想到的。

譬如在北京,雷夫回答了“中国教师最想问的20个问题”,不料这20个问题,在上海又一次出现了,大约雷夫此时,只须努力翻出两天前在北京的记忆,照搬背诵一番即可;再如,与李希贵的对话,在上海也一样的重演一遍。我后来想,所谓的“商业活动”,其中一个明显的特征,是其复制性,惟其可以复制,方可以用最少的成本,获取最大的收益。只是这复制性,置于教育的情境之中,未免令人哭笑不得吧?

故从北京回来后的有一日,在与朋友们说话时,刘发建兄不屑一顾地宣称:像雷夫这样的人,在中国比比皆是,我们为何非得从美国调一个洋和尚过来念经?发建兄的意思很明确,所有关于雷夫的活动,无非是商业,并非是教育所需。我虽然怒发冲冠地与之争执,但心底却不得不承认他的道理所在。

但是雷夫之成为时尚的现象,总的说来,尚不能诉诸于商业炒作的功劳。商业或许可以在短期内挑动人的热情,但若要在几年内持续之,毕竟是难事。故我在想,雷夫之所以能成为一种时尚,定有其内在的原因,或者毋宁说,是中国教师身上缺失的某样东西,在雷夫身上得到了充分的体现。回来后,因茶居兄的提议,也因自己的责任所自,费了几日撰写了一篇小文,专论雷夫之儿童观,虽文不达意,也算是对这一次“雷夫中国行”的思考罢。

 

2012415

 

附:雷夫在北京演讲之选

  A principal from a school called Hobart School came over and started swearing at me and pointed his finger at me and said: “You are not doing anything! You need to come to my school and teach there. Then we’ll see if you are a good teacher.” And I was shocked but I took his challenge and went to the school. And I could not believe what I saw. Hobart School is not far away from my first school. But it might have been in the different galaxies. There are over 2000 children in school. None of the children spoke English. All of the children lived in terrible poverty. Many of them did not eat properly, if they ate at all. Most of them came from one parent family or no parent family. And what really scared me was that only 32% of the children at the school ever finished grade12. By the time those children were 14 or 15 years old, most of them went on the street. And I could not believe it, because I saw those children were just like children at my school. They are smart, and they can do just well but no one shows them how. And then I tried to figure out how I can change these patterns. And I want all my fans here to understand that I failed all the time. (When you failed) Please do not think that you are a bad teacher, Teaching is a very very hard job. I’m a good teacher and I have bad days all the time, because teaching is a very hard job. I have to figure out how I teach my students to be honorable in a world that is not honorable. I have to teach the children to be kind in the world which is mean. And that is very hard. So I want to tell my new teacher friends here that when you are having a bad day, please do not give up on yourself. It’s important to keep trying. When I saw the children in Hobart School, I have to come up with some ideas to help the children do better. And I came up with two ideas to start. The first thing I made was I made the school day longer. The children at my school came to school at 8 in the morning and 2:30 in the afternoon. But you must understand when these children left school at 2:30, they only went on the street with drug. They were not going to lessons, and they were not going home with loving family. I didn’t want to make the school day longer to give the children extra math or extra sheets to write, because I didn’t think that will help them. I choose to add what I am good at---baseball, rock and roll music and Shakespeare. When I made my school day longer, I made all the activities part of my teaching. I do not force children to do things. I simply make an offer. I try to let the children decide for themselves. My class is very different, because my children are very independent. Most of the teachers in Hobart School spend most of their time trying to control the students because these students were badly behaved. Most teachers try to scream at the children or scare the children or bully the children into getting themselves to behave. Instead, on the first of the school, I teach my children something called six levels. I ask the children on the first day of school “Why do they behave the way they behave?” The first level, most children will do homework or will sit quietly because they are afraid that if they don’t do that they would get in trouble. Teachers in my school are always punishing the children. You see the children standing in the corner. You see them sitting on a bench with a sign around his neck or see them in the principal’s office. But I tell children you should not be doing your math because you don’t want to get in a trouble. Your math should learn something important that you will use it. You don’t listen in the class because you don’t want to get in trouble, You listen because it is the right thing to do. So let’s be a level one thinker, I told the children. The second level is level 2, that means you do things because you want a reward. You do your work because you want a good grade or you want presents from the teacher, or you want your name on the wall. But I tell children when you play musical instrument as the beautiful children just play, playing music is the reward. You don’t need to have a party afterwards to celebrate the music and to show your students you really like this idea. Last year, at my school, the children all get a free breakfast and lunch, and the lunch area is very very dirty. So my principle told the school: “If your class keeps the area clean, we will give you ice cream on Friday.” And all my students looked at each other and went: “Level Two! Level Two! That’s Level Two!” So that week when the children had a clean table and the school offered the ice cream, my students did not take the ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with having ice cream with your children, but not for keeping the table clean. We keep our table clean because it’s healthy to have a clean area. We don’t do things in my class for a reward. That’s Level II thinking.

And then I teach my children about Level III thinking. That’s when you do things to please people. You do an art project to show the teacher: “Hey Rafe, is this good? Do you like my art project?” But I tell the children: “Why are you asking me? It’s your art project, it doesn’t matter what I think about your works. What do you think about your works?” Many times I was a teacher. I’m in trick with the children. And they go into the museum, and the teachers tell the children: “Behave yourselves! If you are running around, you make me look bad.” But I tell the children: “If you are running around in a museum, I don’t look bad, you look bad. I look fine. You are the one running around. Do not behave to please me. I’m only your teacher.”

Very popular in American schools is Level IV thinking. Level IV is I Follow the Rules. We put many rules on our walls. And you must follow all the rules. I tell the children I don’t believe that we have to have any rules on our wall, and in my classroom there’re no rules on the wall. The rules are inside each child. We are nice people and we work hard. That is the only thing I’ve told them. There are no rules. We do not do our math because it’s the rule. We do not work hard in the school because it’s the rule. We work hard in the school because that’s the way we are.

Now if you can get your children to Level V, that’s the great place to take them. Level V thinking is I do things because I’m considerate about other people. I’m quiet in a hotel room, because I know that someone in the next room might be trying to sleep. I’m not quiet because I’m afraid of trouble, I’m not quiet to please my teacher, I’m not quiet because there’s a rule that says “to be quiet”. I’m quiet because I’m considerate and I know if there’s someone else in the other room. Level V thinkers do not talk on their cell phones in public because they know it disturbs other people. Level V thinkers help a student next to them who was having trouble with their work. So I think that if you can get your children to Level V, people will be aware of the world around them. That is a wonderful place to take your children.

But the highest level of scholarship is Level VI. Level VI is when your children have developed their own code of behavior and they follow it all the time because that is the way they are. They are always nice people even their parents are not around, even the teacher is not around, because it’s inside of them. Now all through the year, in literature and in films and in real life, I show the children what Level VI looks like. But I tell them they cannot reach Level VI when they are children. It takes a whole lifetime. I’d like teachers to call me and say: “Rafe, I love the sixth level. But my class has done it for two weeks and we haven’t reached Level VI yet.” And I laughed and I said: “Of course not. There’s no hurrying here. I’m just giving the children a vision of what is possible. And I can give you an example of Level VI behavior. I used to have a boy named Fillex. He was a wonderful boy and he had long beautiful hair, and after he left my class, he came back to visit us about two years later, and all of his head was shaved. He was completely bald, and all of us were very surprised. And I said: “Fillex, what happened? Did you run out of shampoo? Why did you do this with your hair?” And he told me that there was a girl in his school who had cancer. And she was going to have a therapy and she lost her hair so he gave his hair to her. When I asked if this was a school project, he said “no” and he left the room. That was what level six looks like.

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