Monday, November 22, 2010

Roger Schank Sets Straight Education Curricula-Again

Once again Roger Schank cuts to the chase better than lesser experts in his field of how people learn:

When you think about education, think about this. We have made people so stupid through our absurd system of memorizing nonsense and repeating it back on a multiple choice tests that we have set the stage for FOX News to simply say what it wants to say, and having millions of people believe it, because no one ever taught them how to construct or refute an argument...

...the problem is that school is boring and irrelevant and all the kids know it. They know they will never need algebra, or trigonometry. They know they will never need to balance chemical equations and they know they won't need random historical myths promoted by the school system. When all this stuff was mandated in 1892 it was for a different time and a different kind of student.

My daughter is a top student in a class of 650. She is taking advanced algebra in order to not have to take it at some future time in high school or college when there will be other, more important subjects she wants to put her mind to. She drives herself down that road to her goal regardless of the burdens and problems in the way.

I'm not so lucky--I hate automatic authoritarian rules that require school children to have to master any subject which not only may not be necessary for them at any point in their lives, but for anyone's life. But I am lucky that my daughter will get through this morass and prevail--I only hope it happens without her losing her divine right to question.