timbrown   94

« earlier    

Edutopia | Jacobin
[Too much to quote (still tried and exceeded Pinboard's visible space) so go read the whole thing.]

"Education is not a design problem with a technical solution. It’s a social and political project neoliberals want to innovate away."

"Tim Brown, IDEO’s CEO and a regular at Davos and TED talks, has described design thinking as a way to inject “local, collaborative, participatory” planning into the development of products, organizational processes, and now schools.

Design Thinking for Educators is full of strikingly drawn graphic organizers and questions like, “How might we create a twenty-first century learning experience at school?” with single paragraph answers. “Responsibility” is used three times in the text, always in reference to teachers’ need to brainstorm fixes for problems together and develop “an evolved perspective.” (The word “funding” is not used at all — nor is the word “demand.”)

We’re told faculty at one school embarked on a “design journey” and came to an approach they call “Investigative Learning,” which addresses students “not as receivers of information, but as shapers of knowledge,” without further detail on how exactly this was accomplished.

Of course, the idea of engaging students as experienced co-teachers in their own education isn’t novel, nor is it an innovation that sprang forth from a single group of teachers using graphic organizers to brainstorm and chart solutions.

Marxist educator Paulo Freire developed his critique of the “banking model” of education — in which students’ minds are regarded as passive receptacles for teachers to toss facts into like coins — while teaching poor Brazilian adults how to read in the 1960s and ’70s. His book Pedagogy of the Oppressed helped reignite the progressive education movement during that era, and his collaborative approach to learning remains influential in American schools of education today.

Peter McLaren, who taught elementary and middle school in a public housing complex for five years before becoming a professor of education, has since further developed Freire’s ideas into an extensive body of revolutionary critical pedagogy, which I was assigned in my first class as a master’s student in education. The Radical Math project, launched a decade ago by a Brooklyn high school teacher whose school was located within a thousand feet of a toxic waste facility, draws heavily on Freire’s perspective in its curriculum for integrating social and economic justice into mathematics.

Yet, here we are, a “nation at risk,” with lower test scores than our international peers and children still arriving at school every day without breakfast.

Like all modern managerial philosophies that stake their name on innovation, “design thinking” has been framed by creative-class acolytes as a new way to solve old, persistent challenges — but its ideas are not actually new.

According to Tim Brown, design thinkers start with human need and move on to learning by making, “instead of thinking about what to build, building in order to think.” Their prototypes, he says, “speed up the process of innovation, because it is only when we put our ideas out into the world that we really start to understand their strengths and weakness. And the faster we do that, the faster our ideas evolve.”

What design thinking ultimately offers is not evolution, but the look and feel of progress — great graphics, aesthetically interesting configurations of furniture and space — paired with the familiar, gratifying illusion of efficiency. If structural and institutional problems can be solved through nothing more than brainstorming, then it’s possible for macro-level inputs (textbooks, teacher salaries) to remain the same, while outputs (test scores, customer service) improve. From the perspective of capitalism, this is the only alchemy that matters.

Design Thinking for Educators urges teachers to be optimistic without saying why, and to simply believe the future will be better. The toolkit instructs teachers to have an “abundance mentality,” as if problem-solving is a habit of mind. “Why not start with ‘What if?’ instead of ‘What’s wrong?’” they ask.

There are many reasons to start with “What’s wrong?” That question is, after all, the basis of critical thought. Belief in a better future feels wonderful if you can swing it, but it is passive, irrelevant, and inert without analysis about how to get there. The only people who benefit from the “build now, think later” strategy are those who are empowered by the social relations of the present.

The same people benefit when analysis is abandoned in favor of technical solutions — when the long history of education for liberation, from Freire to the SNCC Freedom Schools to Black Panther schools to today’s Radical Math and Algebra projects (none of them perfect, all of them instructive) is ignored."

"IDEO puts forth the fact that Innova students perform higher than the [Peruvian] national average on math and communication tests as proof that they’ve delivered on their mantra for the project: “affordability, scalability, excellence.”

But if test scores are higher than those of public schools, it is not because of the soul-searching of teacher/designers. It’s because tuition is about a quarter of the national median income. After all, a consistent pattern in the educational research of the past half-century is that the socioeconomic status of a child’s parents is one of the strongest predictors of his or her academic success."

"Design thinking, embraced by key figures in business and especially in the tech industry, insists that educators adopt a perpetually optimistic attitude because that is what it takes to believe everything will turn out okay if we just work together to streamline our efforts. That is what it takes to believe that the best idea is the one that survives group discussion and is adopted. The rabid optimism of the techno-utopian vernacular, with its metaphors that no longer register as metaphors, obscures the market imperatives behind the industry’s vision for the future.

This is intentional. Conflating the future with unambiguous, universal progress puts us all on equal footing. Participating as a citizen in this framework consists of donating your dollar, tweeting your support, wearing your wristband, vowing not to be complacent.

Critiquing the solution only impedes the eventual discovery of the solution. And why make demands for power if you yourself are empowered? Empowerment, as Duncan uses it, is a euphemism. Anger is empowering, frustration is empowering, critique is empowering. Competence is not empowering.

The fact is, education is not a design problem with a technical solution. It is nothing like building a spaceship. It is a social and political project that the neoliberal imagination insists on innovating out of existence. The most significant challenges faced today in education are not natural obstacles to be overcome by increasing productivity — they are man-made struggles over how resources are allocated."

"The United States is one of just three OECD countries, along with Israel and Turkey, where schools that serve rich families have better resources and more funding than schools that serve poor families. The other thirty-four countries included in the index either provide equal funding for all students or spend a disproportionate amount of money on students from low-income families.

In a country where the top 20 percent of the population earns eight times as much as the bottom 20 percent, this inevitably leads to two distinct and parallel systems of education, one for the rich and one for the poor. It’s not that “money doesn’t matter” for reforming the education system, or that technology can be a substitute, but that children from working-class and poor families score lower on standardized test scores than their wealthy peers — and America has many more poor families than rich."

"One example of the importance of this kind of flexible and evolving practice — especially for children from low-income families — comes from Lisa Delpit, educator and author of Other People’s Children. In talks, Delpit uses a situation she witnessed in a preschool in which a teacher handed out a tray of candy and instructed children to each take a piece and pass on the tray. Some of the children took multiple pieces, and there was not enough to go around.

A teacher evaluating the children without interpreting the context, like a machine, would conclude that the children did not successfully complete the task and need more practice in sharing. In fact, after asking why the children took extra pieces, the human teacher found that they were simply engaging in a different kind of creative economy, saving up a couple of pieces to take home to siblings later.

I suspect the innovation Gates is investing in is not a technological one, but a managerial one. The only truly novel thing Sal Khan has done is produce a cheap and popular way to distribute basic lectures and exercises to a large number of people who like them."

"The firing and disciplining of teachers is also an ideological choice: teachers threaten the ruling class. Though they are atomized as workers into separate classrooms and competing districts, teachers are, as Beverly Silver puts it, strategically located in the social division of labor. If they don’t go to work, no one can — or at least, no one with children to look after. As caretakers, teachers are by definition important and trusted community figures, public care workers who can shut down private production.

In the United States, where the vast majority of families continue to rate their own child’s teacher highly, even while believing the political mantra that the nation’s education system is rapidly deteriorating — unique job protections like tenure serve to further strengthen teachers’ capacity to resist … [more]
meganerickson  2015  whigpunk  education  designthinking  timbrown  ideo  policy  canon  paulofreire  oppression  capitalism  inequality  management  petermclaren  salkhan  khanacademy  billgates  gatesfoundation  arneduncan  politics  economics  edwardthorndike  history  bfskinner  psychology  control  power  technosolutionism  progress  technology  edtech  funding  money  priorities  optimism  empowerment  distraction  markets  lisadelpit  otherpeople'schildren  hourofcode  waldorfschools  siliconvalley  schooling  us  democracy  criticalthinking  resistance  criticalpedagogy  pedagogy  howweteach  howwelearn  efficiency  rote  totelearning  habitsofmind  pedagogyoftheopressed  anationatrisk  rotelearning  salmankhan 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Schumpeter: Back to the drawing-board | The Economist
"Rich countries’ welfare states were designed for a more homogeneous and deferential society in which most people accepted that the men in the ministry knew best. Now, the public rightly expect better, but governments constantly fail to live up to their demands. Since public agencies have generated so few good ideas of their own, a bit of outside help would appear to be worth trying."
government  designthinking  design  ideo  timbrown 
september 2013 by benterrett
Magic Numbers and Progressive Enhancement —™ An A List Apart Blog Post
“Progressive enhancement is part of typography now.” — @timbrown on type in the @alistapart blog.
alistapart  timbrown  design  typography  webdesign  from instapaper
may 2013 by splorp
Web Font Specimen Cyr
Tim Brown’s Web Font Specimen is now available in Cyrillic thanks to Dimo Buko.
tn142  typedia  typography  type  specimen  webfont  testing  timbrown  dimobuko  design 
april 2013 by splorp
Universal Typography by Tim Brown
From the site: “[…] in his talk, Tim Brown shows us how to practice typography in a way that is equally universal. Focusing on traditional typographic principles, while also embracing progressive enhancement, Tim explains how fonts, CSS, web-enabled devices, and user contexts coexist. Adobe MAX Los Angeles, May 4–8, 2013.”
tn141  typedia  typography  type  timbrown  presentation  event  adobe  max  webfont 
april 2013 by splorp
Five Simple Steps — Combining Typefaces
Tim Browns’ new pocket guide from Five Simple Steps is now available.
tn141  typedia  typography  type  timbrown  guide  fivesimplesteps  book  ebook 
april 2013 by splorp
Nice Web Type
Tim Brown's excellent collection of resources related to typography on the web. A great starting point for anyone who wants to get serious about typography and web design.
webdesign  typography  resources  timbrown  4814 
april 2013 by warnick
Tim Brown — Universal Typography
Tim Brown’s recent talk about fonts, the web, typesetting, layout, the tools we use, the information we gather, and the value of graphic design.
tn130  typedia  type  typography  video  vimeo  presentation  timbrown  inspire  conference 
february 2013 by splorp

« earlier    

related tags

2009  2012  2015  4814  5by5  [delicious-do_not_delete]  adaptivepath  adobe  advice  agelab  agency  ai  aiga  ala  alicerawsthorn  alistapart  anationatrisk  andrewblauvelt  anthonydunne  archived  arneduncan  art  article  artificialintelligence  australiancenterforsocialinnovation  bbc  behavior(s)  behavior  behaviordesign  behaviourarchitecture  behaviourchange  benterrett  bfskinner  billgates  billmoggridge  blog  blogs  book  bookmarks_bar  books  briansuda  brown  brucenussbaum  business  businessinnovationfactory  businessweek  by:allanchochinov  calculator  canon  capitalism  career  ceo  changebydesign  children  chrisbangle  cinema  collaboration  collaborative  compare  compass  conference  constraints  constructionplay  consumption  control  core77  creative  creativity  criticalpedagogy  criticalthinking  crosschannel  css  culture  curiosity  d.school  danformosa  datascope  davidkelley  davidkelly  davinstowell  democracy  design-thinking  design  design_thinking  designcouncil  designer  designforbehaviour  designphilosophy  designthinking  dieterrams  dimobuko  distraction  do  doing  download  drawing  drinkingwater  dschool  eames  ebook  economics  economy  edtech  education  edwardthorndike  efficiency  empowerment  epilogue  event  exdstrat  experience  experimentation  exploration  facebook  fastcompany  fionaraby  fivesimplesteps  font  foundry  free  funding  future  gamechanging  games  garyhamel  garyhustwit  gatesfoundation  gds  generalism  generalist  generations  geometry  georgia  golden  goldenratio  goodgrips  google  government  govuk  guide  habitsofmind  harvardilab  hbr  hcd  healthcare  helsinkidesignlab  history  hourofcode  howwelearn  howweteach  ideas  ideo.org  ideo  imported_from_del.icio.us_user_"mikehales"_(12/28/2009_)  inequality  innovation  inspiration  inspire  intangibles  interaction  interdisciplinary  intersection07  interview  interviews  inwithfor  janefultonsuri  jeffreyzeldman  jeremymeyerson  jonathanive  jprangaswami  justanotherfoundry  kaiserpermanente  khanacademy  kids  kyu  laboratories  labs  layout  lcproject  leadership  learning  linkedin  lisadelpit  lisatorjman  local  mads  make  makergeneration  making  management  marcnewsom  markets  materials  max  medialab  medium  meganerickson  michaelbirkin  michaelsurtees  mindlab  mit  mitmedialab  modular  modularscale  money  mousetraps  multidisciplinary  naotofukasawa  nearfuturelaboratory  nicewebtype  nicoledotin  nyt  nytimes  objectified  objects  opensource  openstudioproject  oppression  optimism  organisationculture  otherpeople'schildren  paolaantonelli  participation  participatory  paulofreire  pdf  pedagogy  pedagogyoftheopressed  people  petermclaren  phi  play  podcast  policy  politics  post-its  power  presentation  priorities  problemsolving  process  progress  prototyping  psychology  publication  questions  quotes  ratio  reading  reference  rel:02009  rendering  resistance  resource  resources  risk  risktaking  robwalker  rogermartin  roleplaying  rote  rotelearning  rules  salkhan  salmankhan  sample  sass  scale  schooling  siliconvalley  sitra  slowlab  smartdesign  socialentrepreneurship  socialinnovation  specimen  src:core77  stanford  strategy  sustainability  systemsthinking  t-shaped  talks  tcsnmy  technology  technosolutionism  ted.com  ted  testing  thebigwebshow  theonion  theory  thinking  tim  timahrens  tinkering  tn112  tn117  tn130  tn141  tn142  tn17  tn37  tn40  tn56  tn67  tn70  tn82  to-watch  to:listen  to:read  to:watch  tool  toread  totelearning  transdisciplinary  tweecious  type  typedia  typeface  typefaces  typekit  typesetmatch  typography  us  utility  ux  value  vanity  verdana  video  vimeo  waldorfschools  web  webdesign  webdev  webfont  webfonts  webinar  whigpunk  workplace  worldchanging  wsj  zeldman 

Copy this bookmark: