What do we teach? Happy Easter

poortTony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, says the goal of education today  should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready” — ready to add value to whatever they do.  (nytimes)

Students must learn to be  curious, persistent, and willing to take risks. They must be able to find new opportunities or create their own — a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”

We teach and test things most students are not interested in, maybe nothing in school is exciting for your child. and will never need, and facts that they can find on internet and will forget as soon as the test is over.

So  xMOOCs for young students which are  build to teach facts only is a diasaster to education.  Of course some facts and basic skills are needed, but the facts and information should be learned in a connecivist way, because of the need for connectivist skills and creativity, innovation and curiosity.

We could ask some ethical questions when universtities and colleges are using xMOOCs to teach students.

Do  these courses teach students the right skills and habits?

These xMOOCs are still experimental, so schools should be carefull when applying these experiments to students. Scientists do have standards and regulations for exposing testees (subjects) to experiments.

Testing for facts makes students learn facts and kills curiosity and motivation.

Image The Moongate Garden, designed by architect Jean Paul Carlhian, Smithsonian Wash DC.


2 thoughts on “What do we teach? Happy Easter

  1. I’m going to rant here: why do we pay attention to what business wants from our students (our children remember) when they themselves see no need to invest in the skills of their own employees? Why do we care what business needs when they themselves prefer to avoid paying taxes into education or any other public service that they might use with such casual disdain. Maybe if they acted more like responsible citizens than estranged parents delinquent on child-support we might owe them some respect?

    By what qualification does business rate as needful in society? They provide jobs and income? How else would they themselves make money without hiring others (or enslaving them)? What claim do they have to manipulate the development of our children that they can say what needs to be taught in school?

    And what’s this need for innovation from others? Has business run out of ideas on how to generate concepts to sell back to society? Isn’t it a form of begging to ask for contributions from the minds of those it nourishes with reluctance? Or maybe it is theft because the ideas may originate form outside the business’ walls and become “owned” by act of copyright?

    It may be that Tony Wagner confuses the idea of business with the concept of the commonwealth but for that model to work we would expect to be able to drop our kids off at the factory gate for instruction–or is that the way it is already?

    I don’t mean to make light of any of this. There just seems to be a constant cycle of blame going on where school fails society, school fails children, school fails business and around the circle to society fails schools and by extension children as it is where I live where voters have brought conservative values to power so much that schools have become victims to the ideology of ignorance.

    Thanks for the article “Ten signs you need a different kind of education for your child” I’ll post it at our Professional Development shared file at the college. Happy Easter!

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