The Outcome-based education reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Outcome-based education

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Outcome-based education (OBE) is an educational philosophy that states that education ought to be aimed at producing particular educational outcomes--particularly, giving students a particular, minimum level knowledge and abilities. Moreover, curricula and methods should be designed in order to produce that outcome, or to give students such knowledge and abilities. Thus OBE encourages us to judge educational programs on their outcomes.

In the mid 1980s, many state legislatures began to put in place programs justified as OBE programs.

There is a controversy surrounding OBE in the U.S. This controversy concerns the precise outcomes which are mandated. There are two extremes in the controversy: one advocates that outcomes include affective (concerning emotions and attitudes) standards as well as academic standards, while the other advocates strong academic standards with minimal or no affective standards. These outcomes are supposed to be for all students regardless of native intelligence or ability.

(please describe, fairly...) [who advocates this philosophical direction?] [what is the current state of implementation or public opinion?]

[Here's some trial text, probably not NPOV]

The advocates of outcome based education favor centralized control of eduational standards, in order to achieve social accountability. Notable supporters are the public teachers' unions, and the Democratic Party, including especially the National Educational Association. A typical argument is that centralized control provides better economies of scale, and a wider scope for promoting best practices. Also, it is argued that the schools are accountable to society, and must teach what society needs, or they will be repudiated, and their graduates will fail. The advocates give exemplars of successful centralized educational systems, such as the Japanese, French and German elementary schools.

The same groups often argue for affective learning. It is said that children need to be carefully socialized in multiracial and ethnically diverse institutions in order to provide a basis for an orderly, yet tolerant society.

A third practice sponsored by some advocates of outcome based education is centralized school-based provenance and administration of child welfare programs, including medical supervision, vaccination and abuse detection.

Opponents to outcome based education include conservative advocates of liberty, and religious conservatives, including Islamic, Jewish and Christian clerics. A key lobby is the Home School Legal Defense Association, which actively organizes protests against outocme based education, especially those laws that would affect home-based schools' freedom to establish curricula.

The opponents argue that freedom and diversity are key values shared by all U.S. residents, and that outcome based education is an obvious attempt to homogenize students' educations and beliefs. It therefore acts in direct opposition to its stated goals of supporting a tolerant society, by reducing diversity in behavior, education, and beliefs.

The opponents argue that affective training, that is, emotional training, is in reality secular moral training that usurps the traditional moral authority of both families and relgious institutions.

Many opponents believe that some early outcome based educational programs trained teachers to publicly deprecate both family and religious authorities in class. For example, it is said that one OBE training seminar in Virginia characterized fundamentalist Baptists (a common Christian denomination in Virginia) as "ignorant, dangerous religious extremists, prone to abuse children."

In addition, some programs are said to have used elements of eastern religions, such as visualization or yogic exercises to induce affective states- and this is viewed by religious conservatives as nothing less than the state sponsorship of idolatrous religious practices.

Another charge is that programs banned parents and community observers from classrooms.

Finally, the centralized child welfare provisions require the use of state child welfare services. These are seen as attempts by the state to gain control of children's upbringing, by direct charges of parental abuse, or medical neglect, if necessary. Briefly, in many U.S. states, a social worker can forcibly remove a child from its parents without either a judicial hearing or legal recourse, simply by alleging abuse. Since outcome-based education requires use of child-welfare services, opponents believe it would increase the opportunities for social workers to damage families.

When combined with the well-known ban of religious instruction in U.S. schools, the supposed past abuses and potential for abuse have created a deep-seated enmity to outcome based eduction in many ethnic and religious groups.

External Links

Pro-OBE:

Con-OBE: