This blog is a tribute and memorial to the life of my dear friend, O. Jerome (Jed) Brown. The writings posted here are the articles that he published in his newsletter, The Traditional Educator. His theme was the art of teaching versus psychological conditioning, the nobility of the former and the wanton destructiveness of the latter.

Jed campaigned for the office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction in the State of Washington in 1992 and 1996. His platform was to return public education back to the traditional knowledge-based disciplines of learning; to save our school system, teachers, children, families and scociety from the disaster of the "education reform" mandated by HB 1209, our state's version of outcome based education.

In 1993 Jed led a group of concerned parents and teachers in an effort to repeal HB 1209. Had Referendum 47 succeeded, the disastrous WASL test requirement would never have seen the light of day.

In 1995 Jed researched, wrote and co-produced a 4-part video series, "The People vs The Educational Confederacy: Educational Restructuring on Trial" with Katie Levans of Tacoma, WA. If you want to know who is responsible for "education reform," this 2-hour video production lays it all out.

On September 6, 2009 Jed Brown passed away.

Please join me in "Remembering Jed."

1994 Maltby Meeting

Cursor down to the bottom of the page for six video clips of Jed's remarks addressing Education Reform legislation, Outcome-based Education, Behavioral Conditioning and Curriculum.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


By O. Jerome (Jed) Brown
April, 1995

Recently, many well-intentioned parents, upset over Outcome-based Education, have taken issue with certain classroom practices. The practices of “grouping” and “peer teaching” have been surrounded by controversy. Teachers rebut by saying that both are legitimate practices that have valuable classroom applications.
Although both practices are currently being misused by teachers, that are legitimate methods in terms of traditional schooling. Group instruction has been used by successful teachers for generations. Likewise, peer-teaching, more correctly termed peer-reinforcement, has been show to augment instruction previously given by the teacher.
The argument over these and other methods does little but to show that parents and teachers alike fail to understand the nuances of either OBE or sound educational practice. The resulting divisiveness belies the real truth and tragedy of educational restructuring.

In the rush to embrace the so-called science of teaching, the art of teaching has faded to a distant memory. Teaching, or instruction, is the act of giving knowledge. Art may be defined as the conscious use of skill and creative imagination. Thus, the art of teaching is the use of skill and creative imagination in the giving of knowledge.

Utilizing a thorough understanding of children, a profound command of subject matter, and a full comprehension of proper scope and sequence, instructional methods are at the heart of the art of teaching. In the tradition of the teaching arts, the variations of instructional methods are limited only by the teacher's ineptness of his craft.

It is this traditional art of teaching, this creative aspect of giving knowledge, the skilled use of instructional methods, that defines the difference between a mediocre teacher and the great teacher. Indeed, the excellent teacher, through the masterful use of various methods, breathes life into even the most mundane subjects.

However, through Outcome-based Education, the rich heritage of the teaching arts is being banished the voodoo science of the 20th Century – PSYCHOLOGY. By redefining learning as the changing of behavior rather than the acquisition of knowledge, psychologists have not only stripped from students the abundant riches that knowledge provides, but have also purloined from teachers the creative imagination that is the very heart and soul of the teaching profession.

Although many bore the same name and are ostensibly the same as used with traditional curriculum, the methods used with Outcome-based Education are, by definition, no longer teachers, but mere facilitators. Rather than opening minds with the gift of knowledge by artful teaching, these facilitators encase the minds of children in the full metal jacket of manipulation through conditioning.

To argue over the merit or demerit of this method or that misses the mark. Almost all methods are acceptable. If the schools are knowledge-based. On the other hand, no method is acceptable for use in our schools if it is for the purpose of manipulating behavior.

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