CURMUDGUCATION: Meat Widgets and the End of College:
Meat Widgets and the End of College
Learning Machine's website has the phrase "Build Intelligence" right there on their page, which gives you an idea of were they're coming from. But it's this post from Natalie Smolenski, "Cultural Anthropologist & Dedicated Account Manager at Learning Machine," that really captures just how deeply and fundamentally wrong this particular band of education reform is.
In "A DSM for Achievement," Smolenski lays out how educated human beings can be produced just like toasters or wood screws. And do note-- the whole article is not just Smolenski whipping something up on her own, but spinning off of a speech by Arthur Levine, President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, delivered as the keynote at the 2016 Parchment Conference on Innovating Academic Credentials. This is not just some insane notion from the fringes, but an insane notion that a lot of Really Important People are attached to.
Smolenski is holding up the DSM-- the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-- as an example of how it can be done, so first she has to deal with how lousy the DSM is at its job.
The DSM and Its Issues
So that she can establish it as a model, Smolenski raises and dismisses the following DSM issues.
1) It's highly subjective, subject to ongoing change and therefor imprecise and unstable.
The DSM has included at various times the "disorders" involved that lead to runaway slaves, uppity women, and homosexuality. In other words, it has been at least as reflective of subjective societal bias as it has been of any scientific truth. More specifically, it has been reflective of the biases of CURMUDGUCATION: Meat Widgets and the End of College:
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