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This makes my brain hurt. (This turned into a bit of a rant)

So, for the last couple of years, in addition to my normal shop and drafting classes, I have been teaching Project Lead the Way classes. Now, PLTW is an organization that ostensibly has an admirable goal of exposing more kids to STEM education and giving them a certified program. They’ve done a very good job of promoting themselves, as the classes are very commonly found throughout the country.

The execution of these classes, however ... well, lets just say it leaves something to be desired. I went batty when I received training for their Design and Modeling class, because they way they teach multiview sketching is frankly wrong in so many ways. I went around and around with the instructor, a wonderful science teacher who I hold a high opinion of, but she simply didn’t have the background knowledge or experience. She was told what she was told, and that’s the way it was.

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Now, a little background here. I have an Architecture degree. I was almost done with that degree when I decided to be a teacher, so it made sense to finish that and do my teacher training in grad school. I also took every Drawing, Drafting, Architecture, and Engineering class I could in high school and middle school. Now, there are untold thousands of people who know more about and are better at drawing than myself, but I have a fair bit of background knowledge and experience to draw from. I know a thing or twelve.

This year (second semester), I will be teaching a couple sections of PLTW’s Green Architecture class. I am happy about this, and lobbied hard to do so. The only thing I miss about the days when I taught high school (I teach middle school, if you didn’t know that), is I miss teaching Architecture.

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Right now I’m going through their prerequisite training before their “core training” as they call it. Usually core training takes place in person in the summer, over the course of 3-5 days (10 days for high school classes, as they’re a full year in length). Covid switched that to a remote situation, and it starts in a couple of weeks.

Anyways, I’m skimming through their materials, because I damn sure don’t need to be taught how to use an Architectural scale or convert feet to inches. That’s when I came upon this little gem.

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Illustration for article titled This makes my brain hurt. (This turned into a bit of a rant)
Screenshot: PLTW

Screenshot: PLTW

BASEBOARD! IT’S CALLED FUGGIN’ BASEBOARD! WHY IS IT SO HARD TO CALL IT THE THING THAT IT’S CALLED!?!?

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Here’s how crap like this happens. The real point of PLTW is to be able to have people who aren’t trained to teach tech classes, be able to teach tech classes. Most of the people in my district teaching these classes are science teachers, but we also have art teachers, math teachers, etc. The dirty little secret is that back when the program was new, core training wasn’t training. They’d bring all the teachers who were tapped to teach these courses together, and they’d spend a week or two together writing curriculum.

That’s why they call it “floor board trim” in this question. The person/people who wrote this didn’t know their ass from a hammer.

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Now, I will fix any errors before they make it to the kids. Just like I taught the Design and Modeling students the right way to multiview sketch, instead of the cockamamie method they try to push. The other teachers in my district have been very receptive to learning how to do it the right way as well. I feel good about the what my district is delivering at least.

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