21st century science, geography

Joanne Jacobs, Weblog, Jul 03, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Joanne Jacobs - who writes the most consistently negative (and partisan) blog in the edublogosphere - identifies some science and geography road maps showing how to integrate new skills into old subjects, and then spends her post looking at Common Core blog complaints about the chart. The refrain of oft-stated by the Common Core crowd: "Common Core also wonders how students can learn from the suggested activities if they haven't acquired any information." Leaving aside the question of whether learning is about "acquiring information" (it's not) at all, one could ask, why isn't the activity an appropriate means of acquiring information? What is it about 'content' that requires some sort of rote memorization before you can start doing anything with it? The Common Core crowd reminds me of the type of person who insists that you must read the instructions and memorize them before you can even think of trying to assemble a bicycle or play a video game. But, of course, the opposite is not only true, it's more fun and more productive.
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