Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)

Anya Kamenetz, NPR, Mind/Shift, Oct 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I know Anya Kamenetz means well, but her examination of global initiatives to improve education collapses into a raft of tired rhetoric. It starts off well, identifying two major problems: first, too many children around the world are not learning the basics, and second, the basics are no longer sufficient to prepare us for a changing world. But after stating the problem, the clichés flow unabated: students need to "find motivation and meaning, and take a playful attitude that makes it safe to try and fail.... schooling is fundamentally a human enterprise... Change can’t just be a matter of mass-producing some technological marvel and pushing it to market... it has to be both/and... kids can learn small things on the way to big things... We’re not doing poor kids any favors by the drill-and-kill method... Leapfrogging isn’t about supplanting traditional schools...  the need to change how they do business... Identifying great ideas is one thing, but getting them to spread is another... they often don’t even know much about what the teacher down the hall is doing... thinking about new ways for teachers to collaborate and co-teach... We’re moving to a global world." Gak! Gak! Gak gak gak! No more, please!

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