"Elementary and middle school should be about memorization"
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Pop over to your neighborhood school and visit some classrooms. Is what’s happening cognitively nutritive? That is, does it satisfy present needs and provide nourishment for the future health and development of children's thinking?
Or is it punitive, with little concern for present nourishment and future health and development?
All of us concerned with education should view children as wearing signboards saying ‘Under Construction’. No, wait a moment. I didn’t say that strongly enough. All of us should look at people as wearing signboards saying, ‘Under Construction—Self Employed’. (See Reference 1.)
We are in the fifth year of research, work which sheds light on Sinclair’s claim, shows that present educational goals for children are often trivial, and which suggests that current methods of causing learning to take place should be re-thought.
The work shows that children at grades 1-5 are capable of stunningly complex thinking and that this goal can be achieved with no direct teaching, but rather by posing problems for the children to solve.
Then, in an abrupt about-face, I read this:
Elementary and middle school should be about memorization. Many of my 8th graders aren’t really capable of abstract thought at this point.
As an example, I teach my 7th graders about the reconquista and about the exploration of the Americas. Yet despite repeated prompts, none of my students in 7 years have been able to connect the two things, despite my prompts about both occuring in 1492.
Let high school and college develop meaning and interconnection.
The second excerpt is from a teacher. I feel really, really sorry for his students…
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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