5 Ugly Truths About Education I Would Like to Change

Here’s something Scott McLeod posted today on his blog Dangerously Irrelevant:

When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending…

  • that short-term memorization equals long-term learning.
  • that students find meaning in what we’re covering in class.
  • that low-level facts and procedures are a prerequisite to deeper learning.
  • that analog learning environments prepare kids for a digital world.
  • that what we’re doing isn’t boring.

He’s turning these into a challenge – presumably, to change what he does and / or the environment he is in – as well as to inspire those within his sphere of influence to make similar changes.

I would like to suggest my own ugly truths about education that I would like to work to banish in whatever small way I can. Some of them are the same or similar to Scott’s.

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Five Ugly Truths About Education I Would Like to Change

It’s time we stopped pretending that…

  • exams and tests are the most important means of judging a student’s mastery of the knowledge and skills acquired in class.
  • the syllabus and associated standards are the most important thing in teaching and kids need to ‘get the facts into their heads’.
  • low-level facts and procedures are a prerequisite to deeper learning.
  • incentivizing academic achievement (with awards and prizes) encourages students to excel at acquiring twenty-first-century skills.
  • kids have enough time to process learning deeply and effectively.

It’s time we stopped pretending these things are true.

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