Transmit, regurgitate. Transmit, regurgitate. Transmit, regurgitate…

Radio tower

The teacher transmits information to the student.

The textbook transmits information to the student.

The online tutorial or learning software or YouTube video transmits information to the student.

  

The student’s role is to be the recipient of what is transmitted.

The student’s role is to regurgitate what was transmitted with enough fidelity that the teacher or software system can check off that the student ‘knows’ it.

The student’s role is to be obedient and compliant.

 

It doesn’t matter if what is transmitted and regurgitated is of interest to the student. 

It doesn’t matter if what is transmitted and regurgitated is meaningful or relevant to the student.

It doesn’t matter if what is transmitted and regurgitated can be found with a quick Google or Siri search.

It doesn’t matter if what is transmitted and regurgitated can’t be applied beyond the narrowly-conscribed classroom setting.

It doesn’t matter if what is transmitted and regurgitated is forgotten by the student just a few weeks later.

 

What matters is that the student holds in her brain what was transmitted and regurgitated long enough to get the grade. We need to check the box. We need to move on. We have things to cover. Hopefully, enough of what is transmitted and regurgitated will stick – individually and collectively, across all students and all buildings – for those end-of-year assessments of factual and procedural regurgitation that we use to determine educator and school ’success.’

 

Transmit, regurgitate. Transmit, regurgitate. Transmit, regurgitate… Why do we believe that this model is adequate for the demands of a complex, global innovation society?

 

Image credit: Transmitting, Tim Haynes

3 Responses to “Transmit, regurgitate. Transmit, regurgitate. Transmit, regurgitate…”

  1. Scott, you must remember the 3 Rs – Rote, Restraint, Regurgitation.

  2. This is a great metaphor for what Paulo Freire calls banking education.
    I recently read in an article (my apologies, but I can’t find the reference) about how Japan’s hierarchical education system stifles innovation and has led to that country’s loss of leadership in technology. So, to answer your question, I don’t understand how some people could see this model (transmit-regurgitate) as remotely appropriate for today’s global innovation society.

  3. Fabio Castellanos Reply October 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Well, I think that the model is partially adequate for today. Yes, partially adequate because although we are in that “global, innovation and complex society” we need foundations, axioms, and bases that support the rest of the building.
    We CANNOT do Engineering without Maths, Theology without a history of religions, Philosophy without logic…those elements must be understood prior further constructions.
    Then, for the foundations this nasty system bust be used, for the walls and roof, you can use other colors and materials.

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