Monday, November 02, 2009

Authentic education is always experimental

An old blog post from "The Speed of Creativity" blog, but an important one worth revisiting. What examples of authentic education and learning are you leading? Participating in? Creating?
[8 April 2006 - The Speed of Creativity] In the educational, classroom environment, authentic education is always experimental. This is because teaching is an art, not a science. Many, many people sadly mistake the purpose of the educational enterprise as mere content transmission. Much of the curriculum standards which dominate the educational landscape today [...] are based on this faulty assumption. Like E.D. Hirsh, I agree there are some common things with which people should be acquainted in order to be “culturally literate.” I do not agree, however, that schools should take those “laundry lists” of names and events and seek to make kids memorize and regurgitate those facts on multiple choice examinations. I do not think an understanding of the need for “cultural literacy” should lead to a shallowing of the curriculum, which remains a mile wide and an inch deep. To the contrary, authentic teaching and learning should be ALL ABOUT learning in depth through engaging conversations and activities. To create this type of teaching and learning environment, it is implicit that teachers must experiment. Authentic teaching and learning are experimental activities because the environment of the classroom is inherently dynamical and chaotic, like global weather patterns. More

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