robertogreco + rote   39

'The connection between education and democracy should be clear'
"Simon Creasey meets the academic calling for teachers to revolt against the ‘pedagogy of oppression’ and demand due payment for their overlooked role in underpinning democracy

Henry Giroux wants teachers to mobilise. He wants them to rise up and launch a revolutionary movement in order to eradicate what he calls a “pedagogy of oppression” that has permeated the education system, both in the UK and in his native US. Teachers and teachers’ unions should work with parents to pressure governments to focus education on creating “informed citizens”, he says, not learning-by-rote simply to get students to pass their exams and become workforce-ready.

This is a push for change that Giroux has been working on for some time. He currently holds the McMaster University chair for scholarship in the public interest, in Ontario, Canada. But he has been an education academic for decades and penned numerous books. He’s insistent on this course of action because “you cannot have a democracy without an informed citizenry”.

“We live in a culture that thrives on ignorance, refuses to invest in education, flees from the obligations of shared citizenship and ignores what it means to provide a decent life for everyone, especially children,” says Giroux.

“[In this environment,] politics degenerates into a pathology and education is reduced to a form of training.”

'We need to have a dialogue'
To emphasise his point, he cites the election of Donald Trump – a president who is on record claiming that he “loves the poorly educated”.

“[Trump’s election win] is not just about a crisis of politics; it’s about the crisis of education, it’s about the crisis of civic literacy,” he says. So, how do teachers contribute to putting this right?

As a starting point, he thinks a discussion needs to be had about the true purpose of education. “We need to have a dialogue about what teachers can do to, in a sense, ensure that education is viewed as a public good and that it is tied to a democratic project that would be used to prepare students to be engaged, critical and informed citizens,” Giroux says. “We’ve got to ditch this notion that the only purpose of education is basically to educate people for the workforce or that the most important aspect of education is learning 25 different ways to teach. That’s just silly, it’s reductionistic and it turns teachers into automatons.

“This type of educational reform is really about deskilling teachers and turning education into an adjunct of the corporate workplace. It kills any notion of the imagination, and what we usually end up with is people teaching for the test. We end up with people basically implementing what I call ‘pedagogies of oppression’.”

Giroux explains that a pedagogy of oppression is one that essentially “assaults” a student’s imagination. “It often emphasises memorisation; it places a strong emphasis on harsh forms of discipline; it can result in enormously unproductive and poisonous forms of racism; it usually teaches for the test,” he says. “It embraces standardisation as a measure of knowledge and it does everything it can to basically shut down any sense of curiosity and any sense of teaching students – and teachers for that matter – what it means to exercise a degree of civic courage, to take risks, to doubt, to in some way be critically conscious of the world, to explore the full capacity of their imagination, and to open the world and themselves in a way in which they can embrace and expand their capacity to be real social-political agents.”

Giroux believes that we should educate educators in a way that enables them to fulfil the “civic purpose” of education.

“I think that increasingly gets lost in the commercialisation, the corporatisation, the commodification and the standardisation of education,” he says. “These are forces that have been highly influenced by a corporate state that doesn’t really recognise the relationship – and doesn’t want to recognise the relationship – between education and democracy, and I think teachers need to seize upon and develop a new language for understanding the purpose of education.”

Giroux identifies another issue: the things that children are being taught in schools typically bear no relation to the world in which they live – a world that is heavily influenced by social media, popular culture and mainstream media.

“To me, this is tragic because when that happens, schools often translate into dead zones of education and spaces of abandonment,” he argues. “They become places that seem irrelevant to young people. They seem to have no meaning except for an elite who need the credentials to get into Oxford, Cambridge, Yale or Harvard.”

He is similarly depressed by what he perceives to be a “deskilling” of teachers that has been brought about by the “audit culture” that pervades the education system in the US and UK. Educators, he believes, should push against or ignore it.

“Teachers can’t just close their door and say ‘I’m going to do everything I can to avoid this’,” says Giroux. “They need to organise collectively. They need to bring the power of a collective teacher’s union, and the power of working with parents and young people, to begin to put pressure on governments because in the final analysis what is at stake here is changing policy. That is, changing policies that are oppressive and endlessly put into play.”

‘Great social movement’

What is important, he says, it that such a reaction is not politically aligned. Giroux explains that “the notion of creating informed and critical students cuts across ideological lines” and that it “should be attractive to anyone who believes that schooling is crucial to creating informed citizens”.

To do this, teachers need to have a clear idea of their larger role in society and this role needs to be self-defined. “Teachers have to become part of a great social movement in which they define themselves as a public resource,” says Giroux.

He argues that, as part of this movement, teachers should fight for policies that advocate more funding for education, more autonomy for teachers and higher pay.

“Teachers should be paid like doctors and they should be professionalised in ways that suggest they are a valued part of any society, which is what they are,” says Giroux. “Schools matter in a democracy and teachers should be one of the most valued groups of people that we have in our society, yet at the same time they are the most belittled, the most dehumanised and the most exploited among professionals – and I think that’s because we have no faith in democracy.

“We can’t seem to make the connection between teaching, education and democracy, and I think that teachers need to make that connection and they need to make it loud and clear. They need to talk about public schools and higher education as democratic public spheres and they need to make clear that what they do is absolutely vital to the nature of society itself – and they need to fight for it.”

Picking sides

Although he concedes that he is “utterly pessimistic” about the changes that have taken place to the education system in the US since the 1980s – the public schools sector in particular – he is quietly optimistic about the future. “I think we’ve reached a breaking point where many people are refusing to accept what we call the ‘school to prison’ pipeline,” says Giroux.

“They’re refusing to accept the racism that goes on in schools with kids being expelled and thrown out of schools, and we have also seen this huge revolt in the US against teaching for the test. More and more people are now realising that education is one of the few protected spaces and battlefronts left over which we can defend any notion of a liberal education. An education that is engaged in creating critical citizens and furthering the parameters of a democratic society.”

Regardless of whether this change is happening as quickly as Giroux feels it must, he is clear that we are at a point where teachers need to pick sides.

“Democracy is in crisis around the world and to address that crisis, education needs to be reclaimed as a moral and political project willing to address the future with a degree of civic courage and educated hope,” he says. “In this case, the struggle to reclaim the democratic function of education is not an option, it is a necessity.”"
simoncreasey  henrygiroux  children  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  teachers  teaching  democracy  oppression  pedagogy  civics  politics  pathology  education  standardization  racism  race  rote  rotelearning  learning  corporatism  memorization  resistance  socialmedia  popularculture  society  elitism  credentials  us  uk  policy  autonomy  unions  organization  2018  sfsh 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Will Self: Are humans evolving beyond the need to tell stories? | Books | The Guardian
"Neuroscientists who insist technology is changing our brains may have it wrong. What if we are switching from books to digital entertainment because of a change in our need to communicate?"



"A few years ago I gave a lecture in Oxford that was reprinted in the Guardian under the heading: “The novel is dead (this time it’s for real)”. In it I argued that the novel was losing its cultural centrality due to the digitisation of print: we are entering a new era, one with a radically different form of knowledge technology, and while those of us who have what Marshal McLuhan termed “Gutenberg minds” may find it hard to comprehend – such was our sense of the solidity of the literary world – without the necessity for the physical book itself, there’s no clear requirement for the art forms it gave rise to. I never actually argued that the novel was dead, nor that narrative itself was imperilled, yet whenever I discuss these matters with bookish folk they all exclaim: “But we need stories – people will always need stories.” As if that were an end to the matter.

Non-coincidentally, in line with this shift from print to digital there’s been an increase in the number of scientific studies of narrative forms and our cognitive responses to them. There’s a nice symmetry here: just as the technology arrives to convert the actual into the virtual, so other technologies arise, making it possible for us to look inside the brain and see its actual response to the virtual worlds we fabulate and confabulate. In truth, I find much of this research – which marries arty anxiety with techno-assuredness – to be self-serving, reflecting an ability to win the grants available for modish interdisciplinary studies, rather than some new physical paradigm with which to explain highly complex mental phenomena. Really, neuroscience has taken on the sexy mantle once draped round the shoulders of genetics. A few years ago, each day seemed to bring forth a new gene for this or that. Such “discoveries” rested on a very simplistic view of how the DNA of the human genotype is expressed in us poor, individual phenotypes – and I suspect many of the current discoveries, which link alterations in our highly plastic brains to cognitive functions we can observe using sophisticated equipment, will prove to be equally ill-founded.

The neuroscientist Susan Greenfield has been prominent in arguing that our new digital lives are profoundly altering the structure of our brains. This is undoubtedly the case – but then all human activities impact upon the individual brain as they’re happening; this by no means implies a permanent alteration, let alone a heritable one. After all, so far as we can tell the gross neural anatomy of the human has remained unchanged for hundreds of millennia, while the age of bi-directional digital media only properly dates – in my view – from the inception of wireless broadband in the early 2000s, hardly enough time for natural selection to get to work on the adaptive advantages of … tweeting. Nevertheless, pioneering studies have long since shown that licensed London cab drivers, who’ve completed the exhaustive “Knowledge” (which consists of memorising every street and notable building within a six mile radius of Charing Cross), have considerably enlarged posterior hippocampi.

This is the part of brain concerned with way-finding, but it’s also strongly implicated in memory formation; neuroscientists are now discovering that at the cognitive level all three abilities – memory, location, and narration – are intimately bound up. This, too, is hardly surprising: key for humans, throughout their long pre-history as hunter-gatherers, has been the ability to find food, remember where food is and tell the others about it. It’s strange, of course, to think of Pride and Prejudice or Ulysses as simply elaborations upon our biologically determined inclination to give people directions – but then it’s perhaps stranger still to realise that sustained use of satellite navigation, combined with absorbing all our narrative requirements in pictorial rather written form, may transform us into miserable and disoriented amnesiacs.

When he lectured on literature in the 1950s, Vladimir Nabokov would draw a map on the blackboard at the beginning of each session, depicting, for example, the floor plan of Austen’s Mansfield Park, or the “two ways” of Proust’s Combray. What Nabokov seems to have understood intuitively is what neuroscience is now proving: reading fiction enables a deeply memorable engagement with our sense of space and place. What the master was perhaps less aware of – because, as yet, this phenomenon was inchoate – was that throughout the 20th century the editing techniques employed in Hollywood films were being increasingly refined. This is the so-called “tyranny of film”: editing methods that compel our attention, rather than leaving us free to absorb the narrative in our own way. Anyone now in middle age will have an intuitive understanding of this: shots are shorter nowadays, and almost all transitions are effected by crosscutting, whereby two ongoing scenes are intercut in order to force upon the viewer the idea of their synchrony. It’s in large part this tyranny that makes contemporary films something of a headache for older viewers, to whom they can seem like a hypnotic swirl of action.

It will come as no surprise to Gutenberg minds to learn that reading is a better means of forming memory than watching films, as is listening to afternoon drama on Radio 4. This is the so-called “visualisation hypothesis” that proposes that people – and children in particular – find it harder not only to remember film as against spoken or written narratives, but also to come up with novel responses to them, because the amount of information they’re given, together with its determinate nature, forecloses imaginative response.

Almost all contemporary parents – and especially those of us who class themselves as “readers” – have engaged in the Great Battle of Screen: attempting to limit our children’s consumption of films, videos, computer games and phone-based social media. We feel intuitively that it can’t be doing our kids any good – they seem mentally distracted as well as physically fidgety: unable to concentrate as they often look from one handheld screen to a second freestanding one, alternating between tweezering some images on a touchscreen and manipulating others using a remote control. Far from admonishing my younger children to “read the classics” – an utterly forlorn hope – I often find myself simply wishing they’d put their phones down long enough to have their attention compelled by the film we’re watching.

If we take seriously the conclusions of these recent neuroscientific studies, one fact is indisputable: whatever the figures for books sales (either in print or digital form), reading for pleasure has been in serious decline for over a decade. That this form of narrative absorption (if you’ll forgive the coinage) is closely correlated with high attainment and wellbeing may tell us nothing about the underlying causation, but the studies do demonstrate that the suite of cognitive aptitudes needed to decipher text and turn it into living, breathing, visible and tangible worlds seem to wither away once we stop turning the pages and start goggling at virtual tales.

Of course, the sidelining of reading narrative (and along with it the semi-retirement of all those narrative forms we love) is small potatoes compared with the loss of our capacity for episodic memory: would we be quite so quick to post those fantastic holiday photographs on Facebook if we knew that in so doing we’d imperil our ability to recall unaided our walk along the perfect crescent of sand, and our first ecstatic kiss? You might’ve thought that as a novelist who depends on fully attuned Gutenberg minds to read his increasingly complex and confusing texts I’d be dismayed by this craven new couch-based world; and, as a novelist, I am.

I began writing my books on a manual typewriter at around the same time wireless broadband became ubiquitous, sensing it was inimical not only to the act of writing, but that of reading as well: a novel should be a self-contained and self-explanatory world (at least, that’s how the form has evolved), and it needs to be created in the same cognitive mode as it’s consumed: the writer hunkering down into his own episodic memories, and using his own canonical knowledge, while imagining all the things he’s describing, rather than Googling them to see what someone else thinks they look like. I also sense the decline in committed reading among the young that these studies claim: true, the number of those who’ve ever been inclined “to get up in the morning in the fullness of youth”, as Nietzsche so eloquently put it, “and open a book” has always been small; but then it’s worth recalling the sting in the tail of his remark: “now that’s what I call vicious”.

And there is something vicious about all that book learning, especially when it had to be done by rote. There’s something vicious as well about the baby boomer generation, which, not content to dominate the cultural landscape, also demands that everyone younger than us survey it in the same way. For the past five years I’ve been working on a trilogy of novels that aim to map the connections between technological change, warfare and human psychopathology, so obviously I’m attempting to respond to the zeitgeist using this increasingly obsolete art form. My view is that we’re deluded if we think new technologies come into existence because of clearly defined human objectives – let alone benevolent ones – and it’s this that should shape our response to them. No, the history of the 20th century – and now the 21st – is replete with examples of technologies that were developed purely in order to facilitate the killing of people at … [more]
willself  communication  digital  writing  howwewrite  entertainment  books  socialmedia  neuroscience  2016  marshallmcluhan  gutenbergminds  print  change  singularity  videogames  gaming  games  poetry  novels  susangreenfield  rote  rotelearning  twitter  knowledge  education  brain  wayfinding  memory  location  narration  navigation  vladimirnabokov  proust  janeausten  film  video  attention  editing  reading  howweread  visualizationhypothesis  visualization  text  imagery  images  cognition  literacy  multiliteracies  memories  nietzsche  booklearning  technology  mobile  phones  mentalillness  ptsd  humans  humanity  digitalmedia  richardbrautigan  narrative  storytelling 
november 2016 by robertogreco
what Thomas Hardy taught me | Fredrik deBoer
"Never mind that the idea of salvation through technology is the hoariest old cliche in the history of education, stretching back to the fear among the educated classes that the invention of the printing press would render education obsolete. Never mind that the radio was sure to change teaching forever, or that the television was too, or that the VCR was, as was the personal computer. Never mind that I still hear people talking about what the internet will surely do for the schools of the future, despite the fact that we had the internet in our classroom when I was in junior high school 21 years ago, the school of the past. Never mind that one of the most easily predicted outcomes in educational research is that a highly-touted educational technology will result in no meaningful difference in learning gains. Nope: it’s the same old shit. We’re better and smarter than those other guys who told you that they were better and smarter than the guys who came before them. Our jargon is newer and better. Gamify the cloud with synergistic flipped classrooms that take an active learning approach to emergent technologies and the internet of things. Our app has flavor crystals. Rinse and repeat, now and for forever.

A piece like this makes you realize the real tragedy of this (profitable, and thus perpetual) fantasy of remaking education is that its progenitors are guilty of precisely what they accuse others of: a complete failure to think of education outside of a narrow, restrictive framework. Mead refers to the educational vision on offer here as utilitarian, and I suppose it’s that. But I would argue that the current orthodoxy about education — which, make no mistake, all these proud free thinkers clearly share — is fundamentally mechanistic. That is, it presumes that there is a basic correspondence between particular inputs to a student’s learning and straightforward and clearly-defined outputs in a student’s outcomes. So you teach a student division, and they’ve learned division, and nothing more; you teach a kid to code (in a language that will be obsolete by the time they reach even undergraduate education) and they learn to code (a skill that will be largely automated by the time they reach middle age) and that’s why you bother to do it. And you don’t teach them to read poetry or to dance a waltz because you can’t get a job troubleshooting Geico’s android app with those skills. Everything is a simple and uncomplicated matter of what you put in and what you put out, and the value and importance of what you get out depends entirely on what’s taken seriously by the staff at Wired magazine."



"In a very real way that was the moment when I contemplated the world outside of my own subjectivity in a genuine and mature way. And like so many other important ideas, its consequences continue to spool out in my mind for years to come. It multiplied complexity; it introduced patterns of thinking and difficult questions that I had never thought to consider before. It deepened my mind in more ways than I can express. And yet the value of this insight, in any conventional educational assessment you can name — and I say that as an expert — would be nil. This understanding, which has been central to my development as an adult intelligence, would not factor into any assessment of my academic aptitude. We do not have instruments that measure this kind of learning and we never will.

Now: I don’t and can’t represent myself as anyone’s definition of a human success. And I’m not interested in making this about the rigor or quality of my research or my field. But I can say that, by the typical benchmarks of educational success, I have performed well. I graduated from high school, finished a bachelor’s degree, and went on to two graduate degrees. I’ve performed very well on standardized tests, both state-run assessments of educational progress and entrance exams like the SAT and GRE. I’ve been published in major newspapers and magazines. I’ve written a major policy position paper for a respected think tank. I’ve been published in peer reviewed journals. If you want to get neoliberal about it, I’ve gotten jobs and earned something like the median income. Again, this is not about representing myself as some sort of great success story, but rather just to establish that I have had the kind of academic outcomes that policy makers, members of the media, and parents say they want.

Yet on the level of thinking of our Silicon Valley overlords, aspects of my cognitive abilities that are absolutely central to my educational success are taken to have literally no value at all. In educational research, perhaps the greatest danger lies in thinking “that which I cannot measure is not real.” The disruption fetishists have amplified this danger, now evincing the attitude “teaching that cannot be said to lead to the immediate acquisition of rote, mechanical skills has no value.” But absolutely every aspect of my educational journey — as a student, as a teacher, and as a researcher — demonstrates the folly of this approach to learning."



"The point is not that the humanities, or the liberal arts, or the deeper concepts and values of civilization, or whatever only have value because of how they support more narrowly-remunerative skills. The point is that these deeper values and these monetizable skills exist in relationships so deeply intertwined that they are permanently inextricable from one another. And the utter folly of disregarding those traditional aspects of education that can’t be immediately tied to skills you list on your Monster.com profile is one we and our children will pay for, for generations. I have no doubt that we will come in time to learn again the absolute necessity of learning that goes beyond the rote skills we currently perceive to be important, that someday people will learn to again see the utter necessity of humanistic thinking. But such understanding will only come after we have allowed deluded privateers to wring every last dollar out of our educational system as they strip it of all learning that has a function other than training more efficient little capitalists.

Albert Einstein was obsessed with music. Would he have been a better physicist, or a worse one, had he spent the time he devoted to music and the other arts on what we now call “STEM subjects”? It’s an absurd, pointless, unanswerable question. What matters is that Einstein was a full-fledged human being, and enjoyed an education that permitted him to be that, and that took the creation of such full-fledged human beings as its central mission. And if we only have the courage to devote ourselves to that project, too, the rest will sort itself out in time."

[See also: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2016/silicon-valley-v-the-liberal-arts/ ]
freddiedeboer  humanities  altschool  education  pedagogy  teaching  learning  howwelearn  measurement  2016  automation  complexity  economics  politics  rebeccamead  edtech  howweteach  unschooling  deschooling  labor  capitalism  neoliberalism  whywelearn  thomashardy  alberteinstein  stem  interdisciplinary  silos  rotelearning  rote  disruption 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Marco Rubio Disaster, rote learning and getting the answer right – Dave's Educational Blog
"I believe that our education system is a society building machine. I believe that the way we build it, the practices we foster, the underlying concepts in it make citizens a certain way. I totally understand that people want our schools to be accountable, but the choices we have made for accountability have created a society where people believe that repetition is true. We believe that there are correct answers to all questions. That’s how tests work isn’t it? Don’t we represent power in our classrooms through teachers who present and test for correct answers?

It is MUCH easier to check and see if a teacher is doing their work if ‘doing their work’ is the same as getting students to deliver the right answer. We’ve always recognized this. We turn to ‘project based learning’ to give people a chance to do explore, to deal with uncertainty, to make their own answers. Super inconvenient though, PBL. I mean, the students have 6 hours to get something done so… it’s much easier to provide some structure so that they can get there in that time. Teachers change, people start to realize that that structure is way easier to measure than the random things that students think… and then we start to measure the structure.

I’ve come to realize that rhizomatic learning (and many other, similar projects – see connectivism, heutagogy etc…) is about creating a different kind of citizen in our little society building machine. I’m hoping to encourage citizens who can, among other things, see what Rubio is doing not just when he so majestically did it in a five minute span, but when he repeats for truth over the course of a campaign. I would love to be part of encouraging citizens who get MORE suspicious as things are repeated rather than less. To destabilize the brand message so that it was less effective. To make it so that we did not look for TRUTH but rather negotiated truths that included more people.

I think certainty in schools is a key battleground. We need to stop getting the answer right."
davecormier  marcorubio  education  rhizomaticlearning  howwelearn  howweteach  measurement  assessment  certainty  learning  schools  connectivism  heutagogycitizenship  society  democracy  memorization  rote  rorelearning  projectbasedlearning  structure  unschooling  deschooling  progressive  progressiveeducation  uncertainty  teachers  pedagogy 
february 2016 by robertogreco
China: New Education model boosts child communication skills (Learning World: S5E10, part 3/3) - YouTube
"Some schools in China are breaking with the traditional Chinese rote-learning methods: the 'New Education Experiment' programme, a nationwide private education project, aims at boosting children's confidence while respecting traditional values and local culture. The model focuses on developing communication skills and creative thinking. All over China, about 1,800 in China are part of the 'New Education Experiment' programme.

New technologies and new approaches: is it the start of a new education era? Can the "flipped classroom" model really make a difference to students' learning outcomes? Watch here: http://youtu.be/6IP62OUMppA

New technology even in the poorest areas? Watch this Kenyan example on how an app inspires children to learn better: http://youtu.be/YdqkN2XRf-Y "
china  education  schools  2014  flippedclassroom  kenya  neweducation  progressive  creativity  howweteach  communication  local  rote  rotelearning 
august 2015 by robertogreco
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
Mozilla Web Literacy — Andrew Sliwinski has recently joined Mozilla as a...
"Andrew has a background in learning, as well as engineering and design. He thinks digital literacy is a ‘huge and valuable thing’ that has shaped is life. The first thing we discussed was that the Web Literacy Map presupposes that the user sees value in the web / technical domain being described. People in Bangladesh or under-served communities in the US don’t necessarily see this straight away. Job One is getting them to care.

Web Literacy is about empowerment, says Andrew - not trying to turn users into anything other than more empowered versions of themselves. This is tricky, as this empowerment is not something you understand before (or even during) the process. Only afterwards do you realise the power of the skills you now have. Also, contextualisation only happens after the learning has taken place. That’s why learning pathways are interesting - but “as a reflection tool rather than an efficacy tool”. Pledging for a pathway is aspirational and has motivational benefits, but these aren’t necessary to learning itself.

Andrew thinks that the ‘creamy nougat centre’ of the Web Literacy Map is great. The Exploring / Building / Connecting structure works and there’s ‘no giant gaping holes’. However, we should tie it more closely to the Mozilla mission and get people to care about it. Overwhelm them with how amazing the web is. One way of doing this is by teaching problem-solving. Get them to list the things they’re struggling with, and then give them the mental models to help them solve their problems.

Getting over the first hurdle can be difficult, so Andrew explained how at DIY.org they used personas. The skills on the site are aspirational titles - e.g. ‘Rocketeer’ - which draws the user into something that gives them “enough modeling to start momentum.” Andrew did add a disclaimer about research showing that over-specificity of roles is not so motivational.

We need a feedback loop for the Web Literacy Map. How is it being used? How can we make it better? Andrew also thinks we should use personas across Webmaker to represent particular constituencies. We could liaise with particular organisations (e.g. NWP) which would inform the design process and elevate their input in the discussion. They would be experts in a particular use case.

We discussed long-term learning results and how subject matter plays into the way that various approaches either work or don’t. For example, Khan Academy is linear, almost rote-based learning, but that suits the subject matter (Maths). It does efficacy really well. Everyone points to DuoLingo as a the poster child for non-linear learning pathways, but there’s no proof it works really well.

Andrew’s got a theory that “the way to get people to build life-changing, amazing, relevant things is to have fun and be creative”. We should build tools to facilitate that. Yes, we can model endpoints, but ensure the onboarding experience is about whimsy and creating environments where the user is comfortable and feels accepted. It’s only after the fact that they realise they’ve learned stuff.

We should start from ‘this is awesome!’ and then weave the messaging on the web into it. Webmaker as a platform/enabler for cool stuff. What are the parts that we all see at the same time that makes the web special, Andrew asked? He thinks one of these things is the incredibly long tail of content, from which comes incredible diversity. This is the differentiator, making the web different from Facebook or the App Store. We don’t see this from an individual user perspective, though. Although we love looking at network maps, we don’t really get it because we visit the same 20 websites every day.

Part of web literacy is about building ‘cultural empathy’, says Andrew - and showing how it helps on an everyday basis. We should focus on meaning and value first, and then show how skills are a means of getting there. What’s our trajectory for the learner?

Andrew believes that we should approach the Web Literacy Map from a ‘personas’ point of view - perhaps building on the recent UX Personas work. These are very different from the Mobile Webmaker personas that Andrew’s team have put together. We should focus on a compelling user experience from start to finish for users to navigate literacies and to create their own learning pathways. For Andrew, the Web Literacy Map is the glue to hold everything together."
andrewsliwinski  2014  interviews  webliteracy  web  online  problemsolving  learning  fun  projectbasedlearning  webliteracymap  mozilla  personas  motivation  duolingo  howwelearn  modeling  culturalempathy  inclusivity  webmaker  roles  contextualization  khanacademy  rotelearning  linearity  efficacy  dougbelshaw  beginners  making  care  lcproject  openstudioproject  onboarding  experience  userexperience  ux  whimsy  sandboxes  pathways  howweteach  momentum  remixing  enabling  platforms  messiness  diversity  internet  open  openweb  complexity  empowerment  teaching  mentoring  mentorship  canon  facilitation  tcsnmy  frameworks  understanding  context  unschooling  deschooling  education  linear  literacy  multiliteracies  badges  mapping  reflection  retrospect  inclusion  pbl  remixculture  rote  inlcusivity 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Patt Morrison interview with filmmaker and tech innovator Tiffany Shlain - latimes.com
One of my favorite stories about Einstein is that he was being interviewed, and at the end the reporter said, "If I have any follow-up questions, can I call you?" And Einstein went over to the bookcase and looked up his phone number [in a phone book] and gave it to the reporter. And the reporter said, "You're the smartest man in the 20th century -- how do you not know your own phone number?" And he said, "Vy fill my mind with such useless information if I know vere I can find it?" Was that why he was able to come up with the theory of relativity -- he wasn't filling his mind with useless information?

So our children come up with new ideas we can't even imagine because they're not trying to hold onto all this information. When I was in school, the person who memorized the most facts was the smartest person in the class. Now it's going to be all about re-contextualizing ideas and recombining ideas."
pattmorrison  children  remixculture  memorization  memory  recombination  rote  rotelearning  unschooling  technology  deschooling  parenting  recontextualization  information  systemsthinking  collaboration  humanity  2011  remixing  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Future Perfect » Mimic, Rote Learn, Evolve
"This photo may not seem like much – just another shot of Omotesando kiddies giving it the “niii”. Except that this was taken by my 22 month old daughter, using a Canon dSLR. That she can lift something that heavy, look through the viewfinder, align the shot, find the button and press it with enough force to trigger the shot, and then peers at the back screen to view what she’s taken is at first glance pretty amazing. Like a kid cocking a Magnum. This is not proud parent post – it merely follows in the wake of many parents commenting about their babies/infants use of tech – swiping/jabbing/drooling on touch screen devices, the ‘my kid can use an iPad’ moment.

This are the tools that make up our children’s landscape – and they are as natural as forks and electronic calculators and electric car windows are to you and me.

At that age we mimic, if there’s enough pay-off we rote learn, and if there’s enough payoff we evolve that learning."
janchipchase  technology  absorption  mimicry  learning  children  cameras  ipad  digitalnatives  observation  copycatkids  2011  evolution  rotelearning  rote 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Science teacher: No Khan Do
"Sal Khan helps kids learn how to regurgitate what we already have in textbooks…allows the worst parts of education to be efficiently streamlined for ingestion…It works, but it's over-rated.

In the end, I think it's a student's ability to pause, rewind, and rehash what Khan says that makes him so valuable, and which makes his brand so sad--really, really sad. I'm a teacher, and a pretty good one. We need to pay attention to what our kids don't know.

If 21st century learning boils down to a hyped up version of what we did back in the 1930's, we're screwed. If Bill Gates is the valued judge of what education means (go learn his history), we're screwed. If we cannot do better in the classroom than Mr. Khan can do with his SmoothDraw and Camtasia (or what any of us can do on the back of a cocktail napkin), we're screwed.

Relax, we're not screwed (yet). Be better than the videos, not a hard task, unless regurgitation floats your boat."
salkhan  khanacademy  michaeldoyle  2011  education  learning  whatmatters  teaching  schools  schooling  rotelearning  billgates  regurgitation  meaning  policy  purpose  tcsnmy  salmankhan  rote  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Cramming For College At Beijing's Second High | Fast Company
"An intimate look at a group of elite Beijing high-school students reveals how China's schooling system is one of the resurgent nation's greatest strengths--and biggest weaknesses."

""The gaokao rewards a special type of student: very strong memory; very strong logical and analytical ability; little imagination; little desire to question authority," says Jiang Xueqin, a Yale-educated school administrator in Beijing. "That person does well on the gaokao--as well as on the SAT, by the way.""

"A few prominent Chinese have become icons for those who argue that the gaokao should not be the sole route to success. Writer and businessman Luo Yonghao never took it; ironically, he later made his fortune on a chain of TOEFL and GRE test-prep centers. Perhaps the most famous example is Han Han, a high-school dropout who is the modern paragon of the Chinese renaissance man--a race-car driver, novelist, singer, and the most widely read blogger in the world."
2011  education  china  beijing  learning  testing  sat  standardizedtesting  gaokao  dropouts  imagination  entrepreneurship  authority  conformism  conformity  meritocracy  testprep  memorization  rote  memory  rotelearning  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Audio Recordings of John Holt
"This early interview of John, done in Philadelphia in-between speaking engagements, is a very good overview of Holt's work, and is particularly focused on homeschooling. John Holt interviewed by Teri Gross on Fresh Air, NPR, 1981

Though homeschooling is discussed, the bulk of this talk show focuses on how schools can be changed and Holt's thoughts about that. John Holt interviewed on Boston radio, WBOS, about the "A Nation at Risk" report [1983]

This is the raw interview tape that Holt owned, not the final broadcast version. Covers lots of political and educational reform ground about homeschooling, including Holt's thoughts about the influence of religious fundamentalists, are homeschoolers abandoning schools, unqualified parents teaching their own, and much more. John Holt interviewed by David Freudberg/Kindred Spirits Radio, April 11, 1985

[via: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2011/07/compilation-of-work-from-john-holt-one.html ]
johnholt  terigross  audio  1981  1983  1985  radio  education  unschooling  deschooling  schooling  learning  children  parenting  homeschool  publicschools  policy  politics  anationatrisk  rote  backtobasics  rotelearning  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter / @johnmaeda: "Differentiate between har ...
"Differentiate between hard work and long work. Long work is just time-consuming." -from conv with Seth Godin
johnmaeda  sethgodin  work  working  effort  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  rote  memorization  time  lcproject  learning  meaningmaking  rotelearning  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
How I Failed, Failed, and Finally Succeeded at Learning How to Code - Technology - The Atlantic
"Kids are naturally curious. They love blank slates: a sandbox, a bag of LEGOs. Once you show them a little of what the machine can do they'll clamor for more. They'll want to know how to make that circle a little smaller or how to make that song go a little faster. They'll imagine a game in their head and then relentlessly fight to build it.

Along the way, of course, they'll start to pick up all the concepts you wanted to teach them in the first place. And those concepts will stick because they learned them not in a vacuum, but in the service of a problem they were itching to solve.

Project Euler, named for the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, is popular (more than 150,000 users have submitted 2,630,835 solutions) precisely because Colin Hughes…crafted problems that lots of people get the itch to solve. And it's an effective teacher because those problems are arranged like the programs in the ORIC-1's manual, in what Hughes calls an "inductive chain":"
education  learning  teaching  history  howto  coding  programming  curiosity  sandboxes  lego  blankslates  projecteuler  problemsolving  math  mathematics  themathematician'slament  paullockhart  curriculum  collegeboard  testing  rote  rotelearning  criticalthinking  jamessomers  colinhughes  basic  games  gaming  play  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  pedagogy 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Cradles of Eminence?
"If you really learn more about the childhoods of men and women who would late  become eminent, the common factors were more that they were allowed to do what they wanted to do and immerse themselves in whatever interesting subject or idea struck them at the time. It looks very different from this scheduled routine of Junior Kumon, karate classes, and after preschool tutoring all before the age of 7. "
learning  motivation  eminence  flowtheory  neurolearning  deirdrelovecky  education  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  freedom  independence  freetime  self-directedlearning  interestdriven  kumon  testing  testprep  math  mathematics  rote  rotelearning  non-traditional  alternative  experience  parenting  generalists  2011  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
March 21, 2011 : The Daily Papert
“Every deep thinker who has looked at our education system, and I think of everyone, from Voltaire, Rousseau, Piaget, Vygostgy, John Dewey, they’ve all focused on one point, that our school is much too focused on information, on getting facts, far to little on doing things, on learning by doing, by action.”
seymourpapert  rousseau  voltaire  piaget  vygostgy  johndewey  rote  rotelearning  facts  factoryschools  learningbydoing  unschooling  constructivism  projectbasedlearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  pbl  jeanpiaget  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
In India, the Premji Foundation Tries to Improve Public Education - NYTimes.com
"But the classrooms of Nagla are a laboratory for an educational approach unusual for an Indian public school. Rather than being drilled and tested on reproducing passages from textbooks, students write their own stories. And they pursue independent projects — as when fifth-grade students recently interviewed organizers of religious festivals and then made written and oral presentations.

That might seem commonplace in American or European schools. But such activities are revolutionary in India, where public school students have long been drilled on memorizing facts and regurgitating them in stressful year-end exams that many children fail.

Nagla and 1,500 other schools in this Indian state, Uttarakhand, are part of a five-year-old project to improve Indian primary education…Education experts at his Azim Premji Foundation are helping to train new teachers and guide current teachers in overhauling the way students are taught and tested at government schools."
india  rote  rotelearning  education  change  reform  schools  schooling  teaching  learning  2011  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Beyond Teaching to the Test | IREX
"Yet despite its overwhelming success with exams, China’s education system still lags in a number of areas, not the least of which is its ability to teach analytical thinking. Focusing almost solely on preparation for benchmarking tests and entrance exams, the Chinese classrooms I visited in my previous work in China offered few interactive learning and problem-solving opportunities, and student-led extra-curricular activities remain relatively rare. Students I encountered in both rural and urban areas of China were often extremely bright, yet many struggled to verbalize their own opinions or respond to questions that probe beyond the factual level."
education  china  standardizedtesting  learning  memorization  rote  problemsolving  collaboration  rotelearning  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
A Box? Or a Spaceship? What Makes Kids Creative - WSJ.com
"Researchers believe growth in time kids spend on computers & watching TV, plus a trend in schools toward rote learning & standardized testing, are crowding out the less structured activities that foster creativity. Mark Runco, a professor of creative studies & gifted education at the U of Georgia, says students have as much creative potential as ever, but he would give US elementary, middle & high schools "a 'D' at best" on encouraging them…

Asking open-ended questions & showing interest in answers can help…

It is best to avoid paying too much attention to the outcome of kids' creative efforts…"The more emphasis put on the final product…the greater is "the risk that the kid is going to do pictures for the praise, & not for the enjoyment." Instead, emphasize effort over results…

Raising a creative child can be taxing. Such kids tend to have above-average "spontaneity, boldness, courage, freedom & expressiveness. So they sometimes behave like little anarchists."
creativity  teaching  schools  rote  education  problemsolving  process  processoverproduct  tcsnmy  lcproject  learning  us  curriculum  standardizedtesting  anarchism  anarchy  parenting  rotelearning  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
How Einstein Started Solving Its Math Problem - voiceofsandiego.org: Schooled: The Education Blog
"The math scores at Einstein Academy didn't add up. Kids aced math in the younger grades at the South Park school, a respected charter with enviable test scores.

Yet when they hit algebra, their scores plummeted. Three years ago, just 9 percent of eighth graders in its sister middle school were proficient in algebra on state tests — even kids who seemed to be math whizzes before.

Instead of jumping on algebra and assuming that something was amiss in eighth grade, Einstein stepped back and examined its whole math curriculum from kindergarten up.

What it found was surprising. The problem started much earlier than eighth grade, back when kids were acing math. Einstein's students were developing too many shortcuts and not enough understanding. While that had worked in the short term, it ultimately shortchanged kids."
math  mathematics  teaching  schools  rote  tcsnmy  sandiego  einsteinacademy  rotelearning  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Power to the Learner! (Why Students Plagiarize (It's More Just Than Laziness))
"This is a great article [http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/opinion/13tue4.html ] about how modern students don’t tend to view education as a process to improve one’s mind, but rather as a hunt for the “right answer” (or at least the answer the teacher wants to hear/see). With this in mind, is it any wonder that so many students feel plagiarism is OK, even when it’s strictly prohibited? When the educators praise regurgitation and consistently punish critical thought, curiosity and creativity, why is it a surprise when students see regurgitation as the whole point?
criticalthinking  colleges  universities  cheating  learning  plagiarism  tcsnmy  policy  curiosity  creativity  rote  schooliness  rotelearning 
august 2010 by robertogreco
America Via Erica: Coxsackie-Athens Valedictorian Speech 2010 [Wow. Wish I was this wise and aware at that age. Go read the whole thing.]
"A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition—a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class & doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared."

[Update 22 Jan 2014: now made into a comic: http://scudmissile.tumblr.com/post/108840471396/pretentioususernametosoundsmart-gooseko ]
valedictorians  ericagoldson  johntaylorgatto  unschooling  deschooling  criticalthinking  passion  tcsnmy  toshare  topost  learning  education  policy  schools  schooliness  schooling  courage  authoritarianism  slavery  busywork  pleasing  democracy  publiceducation  industrial  goals  process  graduation  emptiness  sameness  mediocrity  cv  storyofmylife  innovation  rote  memorization  standardizedtesting  testing  grades  grading  commencementspeeches  rotelearning  commencementaddresses 
july 2010 by robertogreco
How US Public School almost killed an Entreprenuer | The Do Village ["10 things that were constantly reinforced during my 12 years of public school in America that had to be unlearned as an adult desiring to be an entrepreneur."]
"10 things that were constantly reinforced during my 12 years of public school in America that had to be unlearned as an adult desiring to be an entrepreneur.

1. Fit in instead of be original

2. Follow the rules instead of questioning why they exist

3. Helping others is cheating despite the fact that everything you do as a successful adult is a team effort

4. Have good handwriting instead of teaching me to type

5. Do it because the teacher said so, instead of teaching me to understand why doing it is important

6. Don’t challenge authority instead of teaching me that I deserve respect too

7. Get good grades in all my classes, even though I will never do trigonometry ever in life. (Sine these nuts. lol)

8. Don’t fail instead of teaching me to value trial and error

9. Debating and arguing with friends is a bad thing, instead of encouraging independent thought and self confidence

10. Be a generalist and learn things I hate, instead of developing my genius at things that i like.

More Dumbshit that I still dont understand.

*Getting to school late will be punished by making you stay home for 3 days…WTF

*Memorize stuff that now can be looked up on Google.

*Learn to do calculus by hand, despite being required to purchase a $200 calculator.

*Appearing smart is more important than being effective…. REALLY?

These are all that I can think of now. Feel free to add dumbshit you learned in the comments section."
education  tcsnmy  rules  handwriting  typing  cheating  collaboration  helping  respect  authority  schools  schooliness  backwards  confidence  self-confidence  arguing  debate  generalists  specialists  doing  making  do  via:cervus  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  learning  entrepreneurship  unlearning  rote  math  mathematics  trialanderror  failure  risk  risktaking  toshare  topost  manifesto  specialization  manifestos  rotelearning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Marco.org - School grades are hopelessly broken
"Grades don’t reflect your aptitude, intelligence, or understanding of subject matter. You don’t need to actually learn much useful material to get good grades. (& many of those who learn exceptionally well don’t get good grades.)...
us  grades  grading  highered  learning  education  gpa  tcsnmy  via:lukeneff  schools  toshare  topost  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  authenticity  writing  classideas  aptitude  intelligence  understanding  memorization  rote  teaching  schooling  schooliness  marcoarment  rotelearning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Some Thoughts of a Scientist on Inquiry, by Bruce Alberts [.pdf]
"certainly easy to recognize another, much more familiar type of science teaching, in which teacher provides student with large set of science facts along with many special science words that are needed to describe them. In worst case, teacher of this type of science is assuming that education consists of filling a student’s head w/ huge set of word associations...This would seem to make preparation for life nearly indistin-"

[via: http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/one-fathers-lessons-about-structure-of.html ]
teaching  science  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  learning  education  schools  brucealberts  richardfeynman  understanding  projectbasedlearning  memorization  rote  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  experience  filetype:pdf  media:document  pbl  rotelearning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Why Math is Hard - Implications of Developmental fMRI Changes in Arithmetic
"many of these cognitive systems don't come on online until later in childhood, & sometimes not fully into early 20's. Some implications for educational programming are obvious—are some educational expectations developmentally appropriate? Are teachers sensitive to individual differences in neurodevelopment & can they modify educational expectations appropriately? ...developmental truth seems to be that brain processes important for math problem solving take time to develop:...

In our dyslexia clinic, these developmental factor often become huge issues. Though a student may be advanced in many areas, if automatization of tasks such as rote math fact retrieval or handwriting or weak, it may be enough to sink their boat and hold them back a whole grade. But if you follow these kids into high school, college, and beyond, you see their abilities just come online later - suddenly everything is easier and tasks that would have taken them hours to days, now can be done in 20 minutes."
dyslexia  tcsnmy  development  learning  gradelevels  timing  rote  traditionalschools  math  mathematics  cgimath  developmentallyappropriate  patience  differentiation  rotelearning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
One size doesn’t fit all - The Boston Globe
"The No Child Left Behind Act, with its high-stakes testing beginning in 3rd grade, has led many schools, especially in poor communities, to start the drill and testing regime in kindergarten. This shift, even before the release of the new standards, has eroded the foundation young children need for school success. We won’t make genuine progress in closing the achievement gap in our nation’s schools until we address the underlying inequities that are its root cause. Imposing more standards and tests is a misplaced, misleading, even harmful approach. If these standards are imposed, we will see a continuing achievement gap and new levels of stress and failure among young children. Worst of all, we will have missed an opportunity to give our nation’s children the best possible education, the one they deserve and the one our future depends on."
standards  rotelearning  education  play  schools  experientiallearning  kindergarten  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  schooling  learning  assessment  achievementgap  reading  loveoflearning  children  directinstruction  rttt  nclb  policy  rote 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Apprenticeship 2.0 Could Fuel 21st Century Learning | DMLcentral
"A number of educational theorists are advocating increased attention on teaching students skills, rather than merely focusing on their mastery of abstract content. Influential reports like Henry Jenkins, et al.'s "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century" & the New Media Consortium's Horizon Project have outlined the skills that students need to be active participants in new media culture. As educators working with digital media, we need to begin to seriously think of our work as a form of apprenticeship, where we ask ourselves: what sorts of skills are we modeling for our students? And how are those skills preparing them for the future?

...With an educational model based on apprenticeship, educators could deemphasize the role of rote memorization and testing that are now used to rank and sort students, and rather focus on mastering the skills that students need to be engaged citizens in the digital age."
digitalhumanities  training  skills  teaching  henryjenkins  apprenticeships  memorization  rotelearning  schools  technology  tcsnmy  rote 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed: Advanced Pressure - Video Library - The New York Times
"The filmmaker Vicki Abeles features the stories of students and teachers of Advanced Placement classes and the pressures they face in our achievement-obsessed culture."
film  documentary  applications  ap  highschool  education  health  teens  students  achievement  pressure  stress  rotelearning  rote  tcsnmy  broken  schools  schooling 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Gawande’s Checklists: "I know what to do and why thinking". - Artichoke
"pedagogical tension btwn using “instrumental learning” processes where students are explicitly taught skills & strategies thought necessary for concept progression (more usually examination success in secondary schools) & using “relational learning” processes that build “I know what to do & why” understanding...tension that is particularly evident in secondary schools where the second approach is represented as time hungry, uncertain & inefficient. Many of those wanting to build relational understanding w/ students assume that spending time on rote procedural knowledge is an important precursor for developing deeper conceptual understanding. This seems like a common sense approach – a let’s keep a foot in both camps kind of approach. However, research findings in math education suggest otherwise. It seems more likely that, in maths education at least, time spent building prior instrumental understanding is an interference to, not an aid to, developing relational understanding."
cgimath  artichoke  education  learning  teaching  schools  curriculum  procedure  math  relationalunderstanding  students  understanding  design  atulgawande  medicine  rotelearning  tcsnmy  pedagogy  artichokeblog  pamhook  rote 
january 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Answering questions with questions...
"child faced with "name the countries" question or "fill out the map" worksheet needs to ask, not answer. That new question - "What do we mean when we say "country" or "nation"?" is the really valuable topic, in a way a list of memorized names will never be. And it will introduce students to the vast differences in the ways of human thinking. The child in London understands "country" quite differently than the child in KC, & neither is right. Just as "democracy" is different for the child in Dublin than the child in Boise...Even when we start adding 2+2 different cultural rules come into play. If we ignore this, we are training our students in ignorance.

This isn't post-modernism run amok. Rather, it is training our students to understand the complexities of the world. It is essential. Hell, even business schools now understand this. So next time you ask a question, don't look for an answer, look for the questions which challenge our knowledge of our world. That's real education."
irasocol  education  criticalthinking  questioning  rotelearning  tcsnmy  democracy  geography  knowledge  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  rote 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Harold Jarche » Learning is the Work
"One of the most effective mechanisms for knowledge transfer which has emerged in human history is the apprentice scheme. via @snowded: "Highly ritualised in medieval times with the apprentice walking the boards once they had reached a certain level of competence to become Journeymen. Then, for some the execution of the master work to become one of the company masters. Dress changed at each stage as did obligation. The educational model was also community based. Journeymen also educated apprentices and were often better able to do so than the masters. While in the early stages of knowledge transfer there was a degree of rote learning, increasingly the apprentice learnt by practice and by tolerated failure. They did not copy the master, they adapted with variance and as such the body of knowledge progressed, it was not transferred as a static entity – something all too common in most KM [knowledge management] programmes – but as a living, breathing and changing practice.""
mentorship  apprenticeships  education  middleages  medieval  learning  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  schools  lcproject  tcsnmy  management  rotelearning  haroldjarche  history  schooling  alternative  rote 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Alice Waters–Edible Schoolyard Takedown in the 'Atlantic Monthly': Wrong, Wrong, Wrong | Serious Eats
Reacting to Caitline Flanagan's article in the Atlantic: "Nothing I've read has disgusted me this much since... well, Cleaving. Inflammatory race-baiting rhetoric aside, my first issue (and there are many) is that her point of departure seems to be the idea that the single purpose of schooling is to equip students to pass state-imposed milestones; to quote, "doing well on the state tests" and "passing Algebra I."
edibleschoolyard  alicewaters  education  learning  schools  unschooling  deschooling  progressive  caitlinflanagan  gardening  class  race  urbangardening  teaching  schooling  food  edlevin  seriouseats  lcproject  rote  rotelearning 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Culture & Society Articles | Miller-McCune Research Essay — Handwriting Is History | Miller-McCune Online Magazine
"typing in school has a democratizing effect, as did the typewriter. It levels the look of prose to allow expression of ideas, not the rendering of letters, to take center stage … Does having good handwriting signal intelligence? No, not any more than it reveals one's religiosity. … assuming access, a standard font & printer paper, typing levels the playing field. … what we want from writing … is cognitive automaticity, the ability to think as fast as possible, freed as much as can be from the strictures of whichever technology we must use to record our thoughts. … This is what typing does for millions. It allows us to go faster, not because we want everything faster … but for the opposite reason: We want more time to think. … Handwriting has always been both a way to express thoughts & an art, & preserving the artistic aspects, be it through calligraphy or mastering comic book lettering, is worthy. In schools, we might transition to teaching handwriting as we do other arts".
via:preoccupations  handwriting  tcsnmy  education  arts  teaching  creativity  writing  schools  culture  communication  typing  books  history  technology  intelligence  rote  individuality  rotelearning 
december 2009 by robertogreco
John Dewey: Education's Charles Darwin - thestar.com
"Dewey...felt that this teaching style was incompatible with the profound industrialization transforming society. Increasing dependence on technology, he reasoned, would demand creative thinkers able to solve problems & be inventive. & in an age when intelligence testing was all the rage, Dewey dissented, believing that all students have an inborn curiosity which should be nurtured. "The notion that intelligence is a personal endowment or personal attainment is the great conceit of the intellectual class, as that of the commercial class is that wealth is something which they personally have wrought & possess." At the time the idea was scandalous. "He was challenging certain social norms. His critique of traditional schooling is very radical." To Dewey, an educated individual is one who can question received wisdom and change the status quo. Education was the most powerful way of effecting not just social cohesion, but social progress."
johndewey  history  education  pedagogy  teaching  schools  progressive  tcsnmy  controversy  traditional  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  rotelearning  rote 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Think Again: Asia's Rise - By Minxin Pei | Foreign Policy
"Asia is pouring money into higher ed...But Asian unis will not become world's leading centers of learning & research anytime soon. None of world's top 10 unis is in Asia, only U of Tokyo...[in] top 20. In last 30 years, only 8 Asians (7 Japanese) have won Nobel Prize in sciences...region's hierarchical culture, centralized bureaucracy, weak private unis & emphasis on rote learning & test-taking will continue to hobble its efforts to clone US finest research institutions...even Asia's much-touted numerical advantage is < it seems. China supposedly graduates 600,000 engineering majors /year, India... 350,000,...US...70,000 engineering...suggest an Asian edge in generating brainpower...[but] misleading. 1/2 of China's engineering grads & 2/3 of India's have assoc degrees. Once quality is factored in, Asia's lead disappears...human resource managers in multinational companies consider only 10% of Chinese & 25% of Indian engineers even "employable," compared w/ 81% of American engineers."
asia  china  india  economics  future  power  world  global  us  policy  japan  education  engineering  innovation  creativity  testing  assessment  rotelearning  geopolitics  politics  globalism  korea  universities  colleges  schools  competition  hierarchy  quality  bureaucracy  rote 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Teacher in a Strange Land: Loose Talk & Charter Schools
"A friend teaches in a public school which routinely receives transfer students from a nearby KIPP school. She says that every teacher in her school, whether they are traditional, direct-instruction advocates or creative innovators, has commented on the former KIPP pupils' difficulties with self-monitoring, making decisions about using time well, identifying the subjects and activities that give them pleasure--their own passions. The KIPP students wait to be managed, and need external structures to organize their work and comply with direction. This observation has been so consistent among the teachers that she wonders: what does it mean when we put such a premium on conformity and control with students in poverty--when success is measured by students' preparation for compliance?"
kipp  unions  education  publicschools  reform  change  innovation  rotelearning  tcsnmy  rote  charterschools 
march 2009 by robertogreco

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