(一)我小时候在苏联受的教育比我的孩子们在美国公立学校受的教育好太多了
2022-05-29 yzy86 12756
正文翻译

Now that back-to-school season is in fullswing, let me tell you about the single most pressing unmet need of my ethnicminority community: education. Like other Russian-speaking Jews, I am foreverthankful to this country for taking me in and for giving me liberty. Yet when Italk to people in our community about their wishes and anxieties, they alwaysexpress discontentment with U.S. schools.

现在正值返校的高峰期,请允许我来跟你聊聊我们少数族裔群体最迫切的需求:教育。像其他从俄罗斯来的犹太人一样,我永远感激这个国家接纳我,并给予我自由。然而,当和我们群体里的人谈起他们的期望和担忧时,他们常常会表达对美国学校教育的不满。

“How is it,” some ask, “that we are all engineers, but our childrencan’t do basic math?”
“What do the students read, exactly?” Others wonder.
“The only reason my child is doing well academically,” stated one momof a second grader, “is because he attends a Russian program on Sundays.”

“这是怎么了?”有些人说道,“我们都是工程师出身,而我们的孩子们却连基础数学都不会?”
“我们的孩子在学校里究竟都学了些啥?”另一些人也不解。
“我孩子学得好,唯一的原因是报了一个俄罗斯人的补课班。”一个二年级学生的妈妈说。
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Since when do the bright eight-year-oldsrequire tutoring?

从什么时候开始这些聪明的八岁小孩子们需要补课了?
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Of course, Soviet schools like mine inchildhood had their lion’s share of problems. Curriculum was infused withideology, and teachers presented history through the Marxist-Leninist prism asthe struggle of social classes defined by material condition. From time totime, a comrade would vanish from textbooks.

当然,想我小时候读的苏联学校存在的问题也很大。课程里注入了大量意识形态的内容。教师会利用MLZY的方式去解读历史,把历史解释成以物质条件划分的不同阶级之间的斗争。时不时地,某个同志就会突然从教科书里消失。
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.cn 转载请注明出处


Under Joseph Stalin, ideological tentaclesreached into biology when pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko proposed heritabilityof acquired characteristics. My late childhood had its fair share of“politinformation hours,” marching, and saluting. Some teachers were sadistic,and we girls had to wear itchy and hot woolen uniforms.

在斯大林统治时期,当伪科学家特罗菲姆·李森科提出后天获得性状的遗传性理论时,意识形态的触手就延伸到了生物学领域。我童年的后期有很大一部分时间被“政教时间”占据,内容就是练习齐步走和敬礼。有些老师会经常虐待学生,而且女孩子被迫穿着又扎人又热人的羊毛学生制服。

What worked very well, however, among allthat misery was high expectations, written and oral exams, memorization, and,above all, the literary canon and math. The USSR adopted the 19th-centuryGerman educational model, with its own content. Such educational systemsworked, arguably even producing the very people who eventually challenged theSoviet state.

然而,藏在这种种的痛苦之中的是对学生的高期望值,而这也取得了上佳的成效,笔试和口试、记忆训练,尤其是文学经典和数学。苏联在既有的基础上采用了十九世纪德国的教育模式。这种教育体制行之有效,可以认为它甚至培养出了真正威胁到苏维埃国家的人物。

In Soviet education, what Americansjokingly call the three Rs — reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic — were stellar,and these subjects gave us the structure within which to mature and form ourown ideas, often against the party line. The emphasis on the lasting humanistvalues inherent in these disciplines is what sustained us in the darkest years.

苏联教育被美国人开玩笑地称之为3R——reading(读)、riting(写)rithmetic(算)的学习法雷打不动,而这些科目赋予了我们一套架构,借由它来完善乃至构建我们自己的思想,而这些思想与政党路线往往是相悖的。这些训练固有的对于永恒人文主义价值观的看重,支撑着我们度过了那段最黑暗的岁月。

In America, however, that very system hasbeen weakened from within. Here’s an overview of what’s different between mychildhood Soviet education and my kids’ U.S. public schools.

然而在美国,这套系统正从内部被削弱。下面是对我小时候受到的苏联教育和我的孩子们在美国公立学校所受教育的整体对比。

Mathematics

数学

Math was the dissident’s favorite in theSoviet unx. It was believed that the subject is so logical and abstract, theparty could never impose its will on it. After all, two plus two equals four —in the 10-digit system, at least — regardless of the edicts of the Politburo.

数学是苏联反对派的最爱。他们觉得这门学科是如此的逻辑化和抽象化,党绝无可能在里面强加意志。毕竟在十进制中,二加二等于四的结论是政治局的指令无法左右的。

Maybe the Soviet bureaucrats weren’t cleverenough, because the American educational bureaucracy did ruin mathematics.That, of course, was accomplished via the 1960s’ “new math,” which has beenreincarnated yet again in Common Core. Those who didn’t subscribe to the newmath teachings weren’t exiled to Gulags, but the kids who were taught in thismanner failed to learn. Sometimes, the soft managerial power of destructiveinnovation is mightier than the NKVD.

也许苏联的官僚们还是不够聪明,因为美国教育部门的官僚真正做到了摧毁数学。毫无疑问,这是经由提出于二十世纪六十年代,如今又在共同核心课程标准中复活的“新数学”做到的。那些反对新数学教学的人并没有因此被流放,但以这样方式教出来的孩子们是学不会数学的。有时候,毁灭性革新的柔性管理权力,要比苏联内务部更为强大。

With generations raised after the new math,schools are hard-pressed to find anyone who can teach the subject — not thatthe administrators would know, anyway. U.S. instructors readily admit theydon’t understand or like the discipline. They end up confusing the students. Afew years ago at my child’s back-to-school meeting, a third-grade teacher was chirpingaway about Common Core math and how it shows that in math, too, there is morethan one way to find an answer.

在实践新数学教育后培养出的几代人中,学校焦头烂额地想要找有能力教授这门学科的人——反正管理层的人也不会知道。美国的教员们爽快地承认他们既不懂也不喜欢这门学科。到头来,他们也误导了学生。几年前,我孩子的返校会议上,有个三年级的教师在奚落共同核心课程标准,以及它对数学的影响,也就是存在不止一种找到答案的方法。

I was taught something like “multiplemethods,” and I find this line of thought ridiculous. Yes, there can be morethan one way to get to the same answer, but we prefer the elegant, simplestsolution. There is logic and beauty in mathematics that educated people ofaverage intellect have to be able to appreciate.

我被教授过类似“多种方法解题”的内容,发现这种思路很是荒谬。的确,得到同样的答案可以有不止一种的解法,但我们会偏爱最简洁精妙的那个解法。数学中是存在逻辑和美感的,这是那些具备中人之资、受过教育的人们必须学会去领略的。

Language

语言

I have spent quite a bit of time in myRussian language and literature classes memorizing poems and language rules.Several times every quarter, we were called up to recite a poem. Likewise, therules of spelling and punctuation were to be memorized. We copied sentencesfrom our textbooks — some of them straight commie propaganda, but others takenout of classic works of fiction — filling in correct prefixes and endings, puttingpunctuation marks in correct places.

我在俄语言文学课上花了相当多的时间去记忆诗歌和语法规则。每一季度,我们都会好几次被叫起来背诵一首诗。同样地,拼写规则和标点符号用法也必须记住。我们从教科书上抄写句子——其中一部分是赤裸裸的宣传,但其他部分则是从经典小说作品中截取的——要求填上正确的单词前缀与词尾,并在正确的位置标上标点符号。

After spending a week or two on anindividual language rule, we would have a dictation test. Is it naive to expectan equal rigor from American public edutainment?

在每一条语法规则上投入一两个星期的学习之后,我们就会来一次听写考试。指望美国的公共娱育系统以同样的严格标准去要求是不是太过天真了?
(译注:此处为讽刺,合体education(教育)和entainment(娱乐)两词成为edutainment)

Russian is a vicious language, but Englishshouldn’t be that hard to master. It has more words, but fewer rules to followand fewer exceptions to those rules. Teachers can take these rules one by one,explain, and practice over a period of a few weeks. With the kind of system Iwent through, most children graduating elementary school should be decentspellers.

俄语是一门艰深的语言,但相比之下,掌握英语就没有那么难。它的词汇量更大,但需要遵循的规则更少,这些规则中出现的例外也更少。老师们可以用几周的时间一个一个地去传授这些规则,并进行练习。要是采用我经历过的那种教学体制,大部分小学毕业的孩子应该都可以像样地拼写了。

Who am I kidding, though? No structureexists to support this kind of learning — not even textbooks! In our Californiaelementary school, at the very end of second grade, students received handbookswith all the rules of the English language. Was that a joke? What is anine-year-old expected to do with that manual? Thus, students are funneled intomiddle schools with hardly a clue about writing.

但我这又是在搞什么笑呢?哪里都不会存在能支持这种学习方法的组织架构,甚至都进不了教科书。在我们加州的小学里,在二年级结束的时候,学生们会拿到一本英语语法规则手册。这简直是天大的笑话,一个九岁的小孩拿着这本册子又能有什么用?因此,学生们升入中学时,对于作文几乎是毫无头绪。

Literature

文学

We didn’t have the scxtures in the Sovietunx, but we had our literature. The high moral stance of the Sovietdissidents was grounded in our canon, the 19th-century classics, and thenmostly underground rarities of the 20th century. Through the works of Pushkin,Tolstoy, and Turgenev, our literature teachers affirmed the “right-minded,kind, and eternal” — as the Russian pedagogical cliché has it — in theirclassrooms. The system had to spin the classics with cheap Leninism, but we gotto read these works in their entirety, and good teachers would sneak humanistmessages into their lectures.

在苏联我们不学圣经,但我们有自己的文学。我们的标准,也就是19世纪的文学经典乃至20世纪流传于地下的文学珍品奠定了那些苏联反对派崇高的道德立场。通过普希金、托尔斯泰以及屠格涅夫,我们的文学课老师在课堂上肯定了俄罗斯教育界那些有关“正派,仁善,永恒”的陈词滥调。该体制不得不用一些廉价的LN主义视角来诠释这些经典,但我们还是能从整体视角上阅读这些经典,而且好的老师会在讲课中悄悄混入人文主义的内容。

At home, we read world literature classics,including American ones. Somebody has to read them. If a Soviet kid was areader, he would have read “Tom Sawyer.” I’ve read and reread it so many times,I had the opening page committed to memory, and I can go to the mat anytime toargue that it’s not only Mark Twain’s best novel but the best children’s bookever.

我们会在家阅读包括美国文学在内的世界文学经典。有部分人是一定会去读的。如果一个苏联孩子喜欢读书,那他一定读过《汤姆索亚历险记》。这本书我读了一遍又一遍,开篇部分我都能了然于胸,而且我在任何时候都能据理力争说这本书不光是马克吐温最好的小说,还是迄今最好的儿童读物。
(译注:《汤姆·索亚历险记》(The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)是美国小说家马克·吐温1876年发表的长篇小说)
原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.cn 转载请注明出处


What do American children read? Peppyagitprop that, even when competently written, is merely a fit for the editorialcriteria compliant with current politically correct talking points. Because ofthe ever-evolving nature of political discourse, many of these books becomeoutdated soon after they come out. They are, by definition, ephemeral anddisposable. The message we are sending to children is that nothing is eternallyvaluable.

美国的孩子都读些什么呢?是那些宣传鼓动类的鸡汤文章,哪怕写得很不赖,也不过是迎合了编辑标准、以符合当前政治正确的论据支撑的那些八股文。而由于政治论述本身是不断嬗变的,这类书有很多在面世后很快就会过时。根据定义,它们是朝生暮死的一次性用品。这样一来我们就给孩子们传达了一种信息,即没有什么具有永恒的价值。

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