Thoughts Concerning Education
Educational Change Abstract
1) P. Drucker emphasize what learners do well
2) A. Kohn homework doesn't help young students
3) T. Cowen best students special, others motivate
4) Harvard College 2013 courses about lifeStudents Should Have Studied What They Do Well" "Delivering literacy--even on the high level appropriate to a knowledge society--will be an easier task than giving students the capacity and the knowledge to keep on learning, and the desire to do it."... "All it requires is to make learners achieve. All it requires is to focus on the strengths and talents of learners so that they excel in whatever it is they do well." But schools do not do it. They focus instead on a learner's weaknesses." The New Realities pages 236 and 237. Peter thinks that student who do poorly with math should not be let anywhere near algebra. This should make students happier but remember algebra teachers need jobs.
2) Alfie Kohn "In fact, there isn’t even a positive correlation between, on the one hand, having younger children do some homework (vs. none), or more (vs. less), and, on the other hand, any measure of achievement. If we’re making 12-year-olds, much less five-year-olds, do homework, it’s either because we’re misinformed about what the evidence says or because we think kids ought to have to do homework despite what the evidence says." Homework: An Unnecessary Evil? ... Findings from New Research
3) Tyler Cowen believed education can create potentially valuable workers by helping them improve their value by using smart machines and that these two are stronger complements than ever. Students may not be able to calculate like computers but we can teach students to be better readers of character and emotion and to be the best interpreters of the masses of information provided by the behavioral sciences and big data. Not all students need to do programming but they need to easily make the most of technology. He sees educators as motivators and online managers rather than as a professor. From Average is Over, 2013 by Tyler Cower
Could a majority on workers hurt by Geekability add to A. Greenspan's fear of unrest?
4) Harvard originally emphasized rhetorical principles, rote learning/drilling
1869–1909 Number/variety of classes multiplied, lecture system supplanted recitation and students permitted a free course choice
1909–33 "A system of “concentration and distribution...” with general examinations and tutorials was introduced.
1933-53 Breadth emphasized by first general education curriculum
1971–91 Courses chosen from seven areas
2013 Required courses connect to life beyond college
Return on Investment Abstract
6) Lester Thurow stated "Education is a very lumpy investment where often there is little or no payoff from having a little bit more." ..."There are big returns to the first years of education (the education where one gains literacy) and big payoffs to the last years of education (a college or graduate degree where one distinguishes oneself from the pack) but only small payoffs to those years of education that move the individual from somewhat below average to somewhat above average." 283 The Future of Capitalism: How Today's Economic Forces Shape Tomorrow's World
7) F. Pryor and D. Schaffer feel "It is those college-educated workers with functional literacy little better than the average high school graduate..." "... who end up in these lower-level jobs." from Whose Not Working and Why
8) Charles Murray encouraged more investing in our best and brightest in his 1994 book Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. He later reinforced this meritocratic system with "HALF OF THE CHILDREN ARE BELOW AVERAGE, TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO COLLEGE, AMERICA'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON HOW WE EDUCATE THE ACADEMICALLY GIFTED, ABILITIES VARY." See Real-world, Technology-based, Activity-driven, Question-based College Curriculums
9) Alan Greenspan wrote we can't forget about the middle. "The cost of educational egalitarianism is doubtless high and may be difficult to justify in terms of economic efficiency..." Some achieve more easily at far less cost, than others. "Yet there is a danger in a democratic society in leaving some children out sync with its institutions. Such neglect contributes to exaggerated income concentration, and could conceivably be far more costly to the sustaining of capitalism and globalization in the long run. ." "Much of our skill shortage can be resolved with education reform. But that will take years." The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World published in 2007 by Penguin Group, pages 406 and 407
See Leaders Educational Observations Throughout History.
10) James Heckman “The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families. Starting at age three or four is too little too late, as it fails to recognize that skills beget skills in a complementary and dynamic way."
Proposed Changes Summary
W. Churchill educational appetite must not be destroyed
P. Drucker concentrate on what students do well
A. Kohn homework replaced with more useful experiences
T. Cowen educators as motivators and online managers
Harvard College courses connect to lives beyond college
P. Krugman economic return of college investment falling
L. Thurow minimal payoff for those in the middle
F. Pryor. D. Schaffer many graduates learn little/earn little
C. Murray invest more in best and brightest
A. Greenspan not investing in could cause social unrest
J. Heckman invest early for best results