woensdag, januari 04, 2006

Inquietudes: Q & A, 5

dinsdag, januari 03, 2006

What is your most dangerous idea?

In the past, I've somehow missed these questions from The Edge. This year, The Edge's question of the year is showing up everywhere. Still though, it's worth oversturation. "What is your dangerous idea?" is the question posed to some of the world's "third-culture great thinkers" for 2006 by The Edge's World Question Center. The answers are thought provoking. My favorite dangerous idea was Roger C. Schank's to abolish schools. Here's an excerpt:
My dangerous idea is one that most people immediately reject without giving it serious thought: school is bad for kids — it makes them unhappy and as tests show — they don't learn much. . . .

When you listen to children talk about school you easily discover what they are thinking about in school: who likes them, who is being mean to them, how to improve their social ranking, how to get the teacher to treat them well and give them good grades. . . .

Schools are structured today in much the same way as they have been for hundreds of years. . . . Schools should simply cease to exist as we know them. The Government needs to get out of the education business and stop thinking it knows what children should know and then testing them constantly to see if they regurgitate whatever they have just been spoon fed.

The Government is and always has been the problem in education. . . .

Schools need to be replaced by safe places where children can go to learn how to do things that they are interested in learning how to do. Their interests should guide their learning. The government's role should be to create places that are attractive to children and would cause them to want to go there. . . .

We had a President many years ago who understood what education is really for. Nowadays we have ones that make speeches about the Pythagorean Theorem when we are quite sure they don't know anything about any theorem.

Over a million students have opted out of the existing school system and are now being home schooled. The problem is that the states regulate home schooling and home schooling still looks an awful lot like school.

We need to stop producing a nation of stressed out students who learn how to please the teacher instead of pleasing themselves. We need to produce adults who love learning, not adults who avoid all learning because it reminds them of the horrors of school. We need to stop thinking that all children need to learn the same stuff. We need to create adults who can think for themselves and are not convinced about how to understand complex situations in simplistic terms that can be rendered in a sound bite.

Just call school off. Turn them all into apartment houses.

I agree. Anyway, go have a read. They'll make you think.

Continue Reading