The 3 ways we know what we know (and why we have schooling backwards)

the Number One way that most of us know what we know is … autonomous, firsthand, curiosity-driven, wide-ranging, self-directed, trial and error, immediate feedback, personal experience.

Number Two in efficiency is learning through shared experience and the dialogue that ordinarily accompanies it.

The Number Three way we learn — from “delivered information”— is a distant third in teaching-learning efficiency.

If I’m right, we have schooling backwards. On orders from corporate interests and Congress, we’ve put nearly all of our education eggs in basket Number Three, the least efficient. A few educator outliers use basket Number Two, but their claim that small groups working on projects of their own choosing to learn like gangbusters is widely ignored. Basket Number One … is of no interest at all to policymakers.

A mix of Numbers One and Two would move learners to a whole new level of performance, but the big money is on delivered information

Marion Brady via

One Response to “The 3 ways we know what we know (and why we have schooling backwards)”

  1. I agree mostly. I believe #3 is made up of tools that can be used to facilitate the types of learning in #1 and #2. The national focus on technology in education has moved us to a place of unbalance. I do hope we see a shift back to #1 and #2 as we find ways to use technology to make those 2 ways we learn more powerful. However, we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak. Since technology is 1 tool that means the other modes we’ve used in the past should be coupled in innovative ways with it to facilitate the learning process.

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