Monday, June 17, 2013

Education's Attention Deficit Dilemma — Whole Child Education

Education's Attention Deficit Dilemma — Whole Child Education:

Walter McKenzie

Education’s Attention Deficit Dilemma

In the blogging era everyone can publish their ideas and opinions and grow quite a following doing so; the democratization of information in practice. This proliferating idea exchange is part and parcel of Thomas Friedman's flat earth analogy. Developing one's voice and being heard is a good thing. But it's not enough. If we carry the flat earth metaphor to its logical conclusion, opinions freely rolling across a flattened sphere clatter, collide and ultimately roll right off the edge (I just had a flashback to playing Crossfire circa 1970). Why settle for a random collision of opinions deciding which ideas carry the day? Not all opinions are equal. They need to be vetted for merit.
The blogosphere is an idea incubator—expository brainstorming—and sooner or later all the variations on an issue are examined and exhausted. Then what? Exploring all the possible ways of looking at an issue is an important step in the problem-solving process, but it's not the end-game. Identifying the best possible solution is the goal: a rigorous examination of facts distilled from various and sundry points of view.
Take the current national discussion on education as an example. There is an explosion of ideas, opinions and reactions across a spectrum of media, both within education and in the larger public consciousness. Stakeholders have weighed in with differing viewpoints, and there is a heightened public awareness of the many issues that make up this complex topic. At some point, opinions and viewpoints will be exhausted, but that's not enough. With so many different voices in play, the depth of anyone's understanding is directly