Even more important than interpreting text

Marion Brady said:

Common sense says we educate to help learners make better sense of experience – themselves, others, the world. Those Common Core Standards above say something very different, that we educate to help learners make more sense of text – words on a page. There’s no acknowledgement of the myriad other ways humans learn, no apparent recognition of the inadequacies of text in preparing the young for an unknown future, no apparent appreciation of the superior power of firsthand knowledge compared to secondhand knowledge, no provision for adopting ways of learning yet to be discovered.

Yes, it’s important for learners to know what others have to say, but facing a complex and unknown future, it’s far more important that the young learn how to figure things out for themselves, more important that they know how to create new knowledge as it’s needed, more important that they be able to imagine the as-yet-unimagined.

via http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/11/07/the-biggest-weakness-of-the-common-core-standards

The idea of the superior power of firsthand knowledge compared to secondhand knowledge particularly resonates with me. Problem-based learning approaches combined with digital technologies can be a powerful mechanism for fostering students’ firsthand acquisition of knowledge, skills, and experiences…

One Response to “Even more important than interpreting text”

  1. The reading standards are about text…but isn’t that what reading is about–text. We read paintings (the paintings are the text); we read algorithms (the numbers and graphic symbols are the text); we read fiction & nonfiction (the alphabetic symbols are the text); we read experiments (the actions & reactions are the text). These are all clearly delineated in the reading standards–check out standard 7 at various grade levels. The speaking and listening standards do talk about coming with research done, but I am not so closed minded as to think research is necessarily alphabetic text. Observing people’s reactions and interactions in the mall or across a dinner table is research…so I may give students a task such as that and then conduct a speaking and listening debrief/discussion. The standards are not as shallow as some would like to purport.

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