Educ: Knowing vs Doing LO6870

Charlie Holdener (76103.2237@CompuServe.COM)
21 Apr 96 23:52:52 EDT

I have been offline for a while from the list, but just read the most
recent digest and saw several posts on the educational system. I would
like to share a recent insight and see if it rings a bell with anyone.
(sorry if I'm revisting old ground)

BACKGROUND: Last week I read an article from a teacher in a district that
actually instituted a major educational reform, that truly seemed to
involve the students so they learned more - and it was ended two years
after starting. The author asked why, and concluded that it's because
school is more about ritual behavior and passage to adulthood than about
intellectual learning, and that most of us are pretty much in denial about
that. He cited an example: The PA system announcing a change to football
practice to the entire school, when very few students are affected. He
compared this to imagining a football practice being stopped by an English
teacher to announce to the entire team, for the benefit of only two
students, a change in the English assignment. Implication/Conclusion:
Footballs MATTERS, school is fairly irrelevant, something we go thru.
Anything which appears to threaten these things that really "matter", such
as refocusing on intellectual learning, is perceived by enough people as a
visceral threat and so canned - sometimes with the fervor of a "holy war".

MY INSIGHT: Mulling this over, and remembering in sixth grade being really
excited about knowing an answer and wanting to be called on (which
happened fairly often). I realized that I was excited because school is
primarily about KNOWING - mostly facts and theories - and I am very good
at learning facts and theories, and following to more of the same, so I
did well. Others, who did not do well at learning facts and theories, did
poorly. What school is NOT primarily about, is DOING something, with or
without these facts and theories. School does not teach us to do, and
since doing is where we really live, for all of us much of school is
irrelevant, even if we're good at playing the game. Why then do football,
and other sports, and the prom, and socializing with friends, etc, really
matter more for most students? Because they are primarly about DOING,
which ultimately is what really counts.

Anyone else??

Charlie Holdener


Charlie Holdener <76103.2237@CompuServe.COM>

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