Going Back To Basics Is Still Going Backwards

Chris Betcher, Hackery, Math & Design, Feb 02, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Our local newspaper gives us the 'back to basics' lecture in its editorial every so often. But I'm inclined to agree with Chris Betcher's criticisms of proponents of 'back to basics':

  • They actually have no idea how to move forward. 
  • They have no idea that the world has changed.
  • They have no idea what our kids actually need.

"Continually improving our students ability to read, write and add up is important, but so is their ability to sing and dance and play and paint and draw," he writes. As for adapting to the new economy: you can't learn pattern recognition from STEM alone, and you can't learn communication and empathy from any of the basics.

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