Friday, September 14, 2012

Everything You Studied in High School Was Wrong

This article featured in GOOD (and online magazine) posits that (nearly) everything about high school curriculum is wrong.

Memorizing formulas is physics is wrong; students should be designing and testing as engineers do.

Chemistry is utter nonsense; instead of memorizing periodic tables and chemical formulas, students need to know how things react to each other.

Discussing Shakespeare and writing book reports are wrong; students should be learning how to defend themselves in writing.

Even history comes under fire, with this quote:

"Artificial intelligence theorist and education reformer Roger Schank...eviscerates the saying that that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it, noting, "I guess no U.S. president ever took history because they have all forgotten the lessons of the Vietnam War, the history of Iraq and the history of foreign incursions into Afghanistan." He goes on to point out that many "untruths about the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and World War II," are currently shared in schools."

The first comment below the article seems to be what the prevailing reaction would be; another commenter notes that young children would never know what they like if they don't try different things.

I think that most of the tasks asked of high school students are a bit ridiculous and not based in anything useful; I do believe in general knowledge but not so general as to be nothing more than trivia and not to dominate the entire day (as currently happens in traditional high schools, public and private).

What say you?

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