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Just Because I like It

Yes, I’ve previously linked to the slideshare version and Tom has done so with this video….but what the hey. It drives home some points and I like the soundtrack.

Hat tip to Historyguy99 for the reminder.

5 Responses to “Just Because I like It”

  1. Barnabus Says:

    the China numbers are meaningless….the same numbers were true 50 or 100 years ago; e.g. the number of Honors students…it’s what you do with them and what their culture allows them to do that is the critical point.

  2. John Jay Says:

    I have some problems with it, too. It feels too much like a "gimme money" demand from the NEA. First, spending on R&D in Education is a waste of money – what’s needed are less computer skills (which kids pick up at home, anyway) and more sitting down with paper and pencil and wrestling with the Principia Methematica.

    The information explosion is at the top end, and the graduate student level, not in the basics, which is what American schools are weak on – half of what kids learn in their Freshmen ans Sophomore years will not be obsolete by graduation because what they learn there is basis knowledge. What I taught in Gen Chem to Freshmen in 1990 is still true today – if they ignore my warning not to dump the Sodium in the sink, they’ll still end up without eyebrows in 2007, just as that kid did back in 1993. Just because we add another variable to a superstring doesn’t mean that the Schrodinger Equation is tossed out the window.

    Finally, when talking about the number of Google searches and the increase in data, which they confound with knowledge / information,  they negelect to note that at least 50% of the searches and 50% of those new sequences of 1s and 0s are pron. 😉

    The England of 1900 is a nice wake-up call though.

  3. zen Says:

    Hi John,

    I second your comment that students need deep engagement with texts and equations – I’m a fan of having students ( of the appropriate ages) do real science work,  interpret primary sources, undergo Socratic questioning and generally to "raise the bar" of expectations across the board ( unfortunately, not everyone agrees with my approach).

    I disagree with your R&D assumption. While I am more than ready to concede that much of what goes on in Colleges of Ed can be a waste of time and money, there’s a great deal to discover about how the brain functions and how that can be applied to optimize learning. I view neuroscience research as a worthwhile investment.

  4. John Jay Says:

    Zen – I completely agree on Neuroscience research, in fact I’m peripherally involved in it in my current job. However, that comes out of the NIH and NSF funding buckets. And unfortunately, much of what comes out of it is not implemented by teachers because the Depts. of Ed in most universities are not receptive to actually testing theories with the scientific method.

    The slide show mentioned "research and innovation in education", which is a DoEd boondoggle buzzword.  Most of the "innovation": I’ve seen coming out of the DoEd boils down to "teach your kids how to use the internet on school time".

  5. zen Says:

    "And unfortunately, much of what comes out of it is not implemented by teachers because the Depts. of Ed in most universities are not receptive to actually testing theories with the scientific method."

    True – most of these institutions are run more as cash cow diploma mills but that is done with the intent and open connivance of state legislatures and State boards of education. It doesn’t have to be that way and radical improvement in teaching requires revising the role of these schools to be on a qualitative par with schools of medicine, law or engineering, graduate degrees earned after a bachelor’s degree has been acquired in a basic subject like mathematics, history, physics, literature, etc. I am not holding my breath that this will happen anytime soon in illinois or anywhere else.
    In the meantime, check this out:


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