Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sages on Stages Desperately Needed

It was the first premise of all schools throughout history: students would be educated by people who were themselves already educated.  A biology teacher had to be an expert in biology; a history teacher must know history to teach history.  Who would question the wisdom of these statements?

This country's Education Establishment now preaches a contrary view.  Students must not be told that 2+3=5; this is not "authentic learning."  Essentially, teachers should stop teaching.  The theory, generally called Constructivism or Discovery, requires that students (typically working in groups) construct knowledge for themselves.

This approach gained traction in the 1980s and is now one of the central dogmas of progressive or modern education.  Classrooms, we are told, should be not "teacher-centered," but "student-centered."

Traditionally, students were entitled to sages.  But now the official slogan is: "We don't need sages on stages.  We want guides at their sides."  (more...)

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