Who is going to hire young people skilled at regurgitation?

Most classrooms and schools are outmoded ‘answer factories,’ and regurgitation is not a skill that is marketable. Kids today are growing up in a sea of information, 24/7, and schools must be helping them formulate questions, encouraging them to dig deep, to prepare them for a world which values the ability to formulate questions and then find answers to those questions. Who is going to hire young people skilled at regurgitation?

Of course, blended learning can turn out better workers for those answer factories, but what a waste that would be. But if its advocates limit their vision to merely producing kids who do well on standardized tests, blended learning will end up being yet another disappointment, and we will all lose.

John Merrow via http://takingnote.learningmatters.tv/?p=5908

4 Responses to “Who is going to hire young people skilled at regurgitation?”

  1. Great analysis of another new educational model. Unfortunately, how do we get blended learning into the hands of those that meet free and reduced lunch income? For todays world it is a great option of extending time but not every family can afford a computer not to mention the host of issues that you mentioned. Pure learning cannot take place in this current environment because “the powers that be” do not want Critical Thinking taught to this generation.

  2. “Most classrooms and schools”….really? most? data base? I can be as critical of what goes on in a classroom as anybody, but I think we have to be really careful not to over-generalize. There are enough specific examples to criticize. I don’t think it is helpful to make such broad claims, especially if you are not going to offer data/research to support the statement.

  3. What we find in competent adults is that they sustain a body of knowledge they can actively think about, rearrange, prioritize for the current task, etc. The problem in schools is that there is a structural bias against developing this kind of knowledge due to the credit system: study a topic for awhile, test it, and then discard it. At the “final,” students rejoice that they can lay aside the material. This is in direct violation of the laws of learning anything permanently, which requires periodic restoration of the knowledge at growing intervals. One might use a derisive term like “regurgitate” to describe this gradual accumulation of a body of knowledge, but until you get it, you really can’t be creative, critical, analytical, or evaluative with it. Stuck in sheer ignorance about a subject, your “advanced” skills have little purchase.

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