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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Testing the Test

The Big Idea for Monday, February 06, 2012

The punk band the Minutemen said, "Being born is power." Bertrand Russell said, "Education as a political weapon could not exist if we respected the rights of children." Who's correct?

In our interview with the late Ted Kennedy, he told Big Think that the next generation of children will solve the country's problems. Perhaps, but only if they are taught to think critically and creatively, says educational historian Diane Ravitch, who, in a recent interview, argued passionately against the standardized testing and accountability movement.

Harvard professor education Daniel Koretz puts testing in context, explaining why it is so controversial and Pedro Noguera, a Professor of Teaching and Learning at New York University, evaluates the Bush and Obama administrations on education policy, arguing that the No Child Left Behind act contributes to de facto segregation in public schools.

Perspectives

  1. 1 Standardized Testing: The Monster That Ate American Education
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  2. 2 Is Obama Flunking on Education?
    Pedro Noguera
  3. 3 Ted Kennedy's Ideas to Improve Education
    Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009
  4. 4 Daniel Koretz on Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us
    Daniel Koretz
 

Testing the Test

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