Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why even the world’s highest-scoring schools need to change - The Washington Post

Why even the world’s highest-scoring schools need to change - The Washington Post:

Why even the world’s highest-scoring schools need to change


Marion Brady is a veteran educator who has long argued that public schools in the United States need a paradigm shift. The core curriculum, he says, does not meet the needs of today’s students, and schools fail to do the most important thing they should be doing. He explains in the following post.
Brady has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall),  professional books, numerous  nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book, “What’s Worth Learning,” asks and answers this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called “Connections: Investigating Reality,” is free for downloading here. Brady’s website is www.marionbrady.com.

By Marion Brady
Betsy DeVos, the new U.S. secretary of education, has a theory. She agrees with  former Florida governor Jeb Bush and other education “reformers” now shaping American education that what’s wrong with America’s schools has an easy fix: competition in the form of market forces  — vouchers, merit pay, charter schools, etc.
 DeVos is wrong. Dozens of variables — most of them beyond educator control — affect kids’ ability to learn. Believing that market forces can erase the effects of those variables is magical thinking.
Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, David Bohm, Alfred North Whitehead, Ernest Boyer, Harlan Cleveland, Arthur Koestler, Thomas Merton, Peter Senge, and many other internationally known and respected thinkers have a different theory about poor learner and school performance. If they’re right, even the world’s highest-scoring schools aren’t serving learners well.
Here’s why:
  1. For efficient, productive thought, information must be mentally organized. The “core” curriculum now in near-universal use worldwide is a poor organizer of information. The thinkers mentioned above all believed that the core curriculum in use in schools since 1893 is fragmented, incoherent, artificial and disconnected from the reality it’s supposed to explain to learners and help them explore.
  1. Businesses, industries, the military, and other information-dependent entities don’t use academic disciplines or school subjects to organize information. To cope with reality’s inherent complexity, to more accurately model reality’s systemically integrated nature, and Why even the world’s highest-scoring schools need to change - The Washington Post:


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