The most recent OECD-PISA report ... found no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics, or science in the countries that had invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for Education.Yup. This was already true in the '70s when the first teaching machines were a fad. After a couple years of intensive use, no discernible improvement in performance. Technology does matter to some extent. Basic math needs to use calculators, and writing needs to use full-size keyboards. Without those devices you're wasting a terrific amount of time. There is a good muscle-memory argument for handwriting, but it's sort of luxurious. Shouldn't worry about it until the more important things are in order. What's the important thing? CURRICULUM. And I don't mean details like which evil avant-garde authors to read or which falsely described historical periods to focus on. Authors and history shouldn't be part of school, except possibly as optional outside reading or special projects. I mean just TWO QUESTIONS. 1. WHAT DO YOU DO? 2. WHEN DO YOU DO IT? The correct answer to 1 is WORK. Real-life activities. Practice various jobs, practice housekeeping, practice running a family, practice running a business. The correct answer to 2 is WHEN KIDS ARE READY. All school activities should be staged in the context of real life, but talent for occupations appears at age 9. That's when the serious practice starts, that's when the divided tracks split, and that's when you start the gradual expansion into subsidiary skills like effective communication and math.
Labels: Experiential education
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.