Are we training our grads NOT to think?
…the crisis in American education may be more than a matter of sliding rankings on world educational performance scales.
Our kids learn within a system of education devised for a world that increasingly does not exist.
To become a chef, a lawyer, a philosopher or an engineer, has always been a matter of learning what these professionals do, how and why they do it, and some set of general facts that more or less describe our societies and our selves. We pass from kindergarten through twelfth grade, from high school to college, from college to graduate and professional schools, ending our education at some predetermined stage to become the chef, or the engineer, equipped with a fair understanding of what being a chef, or an engineer, actually is and will be for a long time.
We “learn,” and after this we “do.” We go to school and then we go to work.
This approach does not map very well to personal and professional success in America today. Learning and doing have become inseparable in the face of conditions that invite us to discover.
More and more voices are standing up and saying the above. It’s good to hear.
Sadly, few of them are teachers and almost none of them are education system administrators.
Because, they too have been educated to repeat a performance — and if the game is no longer about that performance, then their jobs are on the line for the performance is all they know.
Problem is, those who only know the performance are still the ones in control of the training of teachers and appointing those administrators. Administrators who, in turn, lobby politicians for standardized testing (on mostly meaningless facts) that demands sitting under people willing to offer that performance to pass.
The above voices? They are voices of truth — but their voices don’t matter.
If only there were a rose coloured lining to this…