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The Changing Nature Of Education

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No I'm not going to rant about how teachers don't get paid enough, how tests are bad, how the IQ of america is somewhere between a small rock and the average cockroach, mostly because I'm tired of hearing about it. I would like readers to consider the changing nature of information and how it affects how we think about school. Consider how much information is available at our fingertips, I'm not just talking about Wikipedia, though I think it is a large part, I would just like to ask when was the last time you read a book to learn about a subject, it's easier just to find an internet connection and look through the first few reputable sites that come up. Therefore why is education based on the memorization of facts? Why does a history teacher quiz on the year Louis XIV died? Does it matter if a student knows the twelfth decimal of pie, five minutes of his/her newest computer look alike and they also know when Louis reigned and what large impact it had on Europe as well as the seventy-third decimal of pie. Wouldn't it make more sense to teach students about how to consider that information, how to look at the presentation and see the links between information? Just because a student sitting in a small room with a test can't remember what the ninth President's mother did doesn't mean that they're unfit to work in society. I don't know precisely what a better system might be but It'd be interesting to consider how we've moved since the day when a single textbook served an entire class, and memorization was important since it was unlikely you'd ever see that book outside of school.

Now the Biased Part:
It's one of the problems with the Conservative tradition, yes education principles were developed for very specific reasons and tested over time, but at a certain point those conditions change and the conservative view holds onto the principles more then a more progressive view. (NOT SAYING ONE IS BETTER THEN THE OTHER)

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  1. Damocles's Avatar
    Would it make sense? The reality is that history classes have always been to teach people how to look up information and how to apply thought to it. There was a reason why you wrote papers in history classes, and that wasn't to prove you knew when Louis XIV died...
  2. Disillusioned's Avatar
    A step in the right direction? But how many more tests and quizes do teachers give than papers? I still think we're stuck trying to turn kids into walking reference sections
  3. /MSG/'s Avatar
    Well that's because the past 60 years we've been training Americans for two career; government work, or factory work, all so we could fight the commies.
  4. Damocles's Avatar
    The monopoly on eduction by public sector unions has created a great environment for teachers, but a sad one for our students. We need to look to Belgium who creates an atmosphere of competition and their students excel.