Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Was the Question? (A response) « Deborah Meier on Education

What Was the Question? (A response) « Deborah Meier on Education:


What Was the Question? (A response)

The Harvard Business Review has an essay “What Was the Question?” in which Dan Ariely (Prof. of Behavioral Economics at Duke University) says, “The bottom line is that we need to spend more time helping people understand and deal with complexity and less time concocting dumbing-down mechanisms.”
OK.
But where do we (or Ariely) imagine our citizens might learn how to deal with “complexity”? Especially in arenas in which they have no direct experience or which require abstract reasoning/logic. In schools? It might work if complexity could be reduced to 5 multiple choice answers. Of course this is not the case–at least for most citizens. However, was it ever better?
As a whole, probably not. But, within classrooms there were always those “great” teachers who closed their doors and gave their students amazing experiences. I used to say, regarding my own kids, all I need is no more than one bad teacher from K-6 and at least one “great” teacher and the rest “good enough.” The great ones not 

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