Modernizing Education Starts With Questioning Our Assumptions

gadflyonthewallblog

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When it comes to education, we take an awful lot for granted.

For example, we look at learning almost entirely from a behavioral standpoint.

Teachers provide inputs. Students give outputs. And those outputs demonstrate the intended learning.

Yet this framework was developed in the early 1900s. Using it today is to ignore a century of subsequent psychological advancements. It glosses over the impact of the unconscious, the social nature of understanding, physical differences, even the mediating thought processes between stimulus and response such as memory and problem solving.

Instead, we force students into inauthentic laboratory conditions (i.e. the classroom) upon which they are passive actors to be molded and shaped by expert educators.

Every time we post our learning objectives on the board or when we write our lesson plans beginning with the old chestnut – Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) – we are hearkening back to early…

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