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Friday, December 5, 2014

This Will Revolutionize Education | IFLScience

This Will Revolutionize Education | IFLScience:

This Will Revolutionize Education

December 3, 2014 | by Justine Alford

 This new technology will revolutionize education” is a phrase that we have heard many times over the last century. The motion picture, radio, educational television, computers and tablet computers have all been heralded as the “next big thing” that could change education forever. While there have been many revolutions in the last 100 years, education has largely remained unchanged; we’re still taught in essentially the same way. And it doesn’t look like that is set to change any time soon. So why has technology not revolutionized education? According to Derek Muller from Veritasium, there’s two reasons: technology is not inherently superior to traditional teaching methods, and learning is a social activity.

Check out this video for more of his thoughts on the subject:

David Coleman’s plan to ruin education | Al Jazeera America

David Coleman’s plan to ruin education | Al Jazeera America:

David Coleman’s plan to ruin education

The architect of Common Core must be stopped
December 5, 2014 2:00AM ET

In the summer of 2008, David Coleman changed the course of American education. For decades, reformers had argued that the country needed a national standards-based model of education to ensure economic prosperity. He helped make that a reality by convincing Bill Gates to support the Common Core State Standards initiative, to the tune of over $200 million.
In part because of his experience supervising the writing of the standards, Coleman became the head of the College Board, where his philosophy of education will further shape how U.S. high schools prepare students for college.
He has expressed this vision in an essay published by the College Board, “Cultivating Wonder.” With this document and the early results of the Common Core, it’s easy to see where his grand plans fall short. 

Cultivating wonder

In “Cultivating Wonder,” Coleman unpacks several Common Core standards, shows how students may decipher classic works of literature and reflects on appropriate questions to ask students, revealing the philosophy of the Common Core and the College Board.  
As a professor of political philosophy, I agree that education ought to cultivate wonder. The first book of political philosophy, Plato’s “Republic,” begins with Socrates experiencing wonder at a remark made by one of his interlocutors. Wonder is what compels us to keep investigating a question using every resource at our disposal.
Yet Coleman’s pedagogical vision stifles this kind of wonder by imposing tight restrictions on what may be thought — or at least what may be expressed to earn teacher approval, high grades and good test scores. He expects students to answer questions by merely stringing together key words in the text before them. This does not teach philosophy or thinking; it teaches the practice of rote procedures, conformity and obedience.
The first standard is the foundation of his vision. “Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it,” it reads, and “cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.” According to Coleman, the first standard teaches a rigorous, deductive approach to reading that compels students to extract as much information from the text as possible.
Throughout the document, he reiterates that students need to identify key words in a text. He analyzes passages from “Hamlet,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the Gettysburg Address and an essay by Martha Graham. There is minimal discussion of historical context or outside sources that may make the material come alive. For instance, he suggests that teachers ask students, “What word does Lincoln use most often in the address?” rather than, say, discuss the Civil War. In fact, he disparages this approach. “Great questions make the text the star of the classroom; the most powerful evidence and insight for answering lies within the text or texts being read. Most good questions are text dependent and text specific.” 
A recurrent defense of the Common Core is that the standards are good but the implementation has been bad.
As a professor, of course I demand that my students provide evidence to support their arguments. Coleman’s pedagogical vision, however, does not prepare students for college. He discourages students from making David Coleman’s plan to ruin education | Al Jazeera America:

'Mystery Parents' Test Charters' Enrollment of Spec. Ed., ELL Students - Education Week

'Mystery Parents' Test Charters' Enrollment of Spec. Ed., ELL Students - Education Week:

'Mystery Parents' Test Charters' Enrollment of Spec. Ed., ELL Students