Complexities in Education

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In James Paul Gee’s book, The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning, Gee declares that people are stupid because children are not brought up to think intelligently. In one of his major arguments, he shares his disapproval for how institutions, like colleges and universities, are run. Schools do not encourage critical, collaborative thinking. Tests commonly ask multiple-choice questions, which students are simply required to memorize. Assignments often consist of specific steps, not open-ended inquiry. Schools do the thinking for students.

Recognizing these conundrums is an important first step for teachers. Though we as teachers will continue to face educational complexities, it is our responsibility to find ways to help students think critically, collaboratively, and with passion. Simply incorporating technology into the curriculum is not enough. We need to apply technology in purposeful ways and encourage children to use it to make meaningful change. Click here to learn more about Gee’s position, my analysis of his beliefs, and my suggestions for how to promote positive changes within schools.

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2 Responses to Complexities in Education

  1. sutterst91 says:

    Brandy,

    Again, I’ve loved reading your essay and blog post this week. I really connect to a lot of the stuff you take on in addressing whether or not schools are actually preparing students for the real world. I wrote about something a bit similar, and I love that you took it in a different direction. Also, this post taught me a little more about Genius Hour, which intrigued me last week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brandy,
    “Schools are not setup in ways that support students studying what they care about deeply.” You’re dead on. The power imbalances (choice of subjects, assessments, etc.) that are ingrained in schools and unfortunately accepted by many students as normal creates an atmosphere which reduces personal responsibility. It’s too prone to blame, “the teacher didn’t teach well” or “the student didn’t review enough”. It’s amazing how both of those take care of themselves and almost become non-issues when the material matters. Great essay and I very much enjoyed reading about your innovations using technology with your class. Heck, I haven’t even gotten around to filling out my “About Me” page. Your kids are on their way!

    Liked by 1 person

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