Why are we teaching the stuff we’re teaching?

Will Richardson said:

More than, what, 90% of what we currently teach and talk about … is quickly forgotten once the next topic in the pacing guide comes up. Climate change, literacy, fake news, #metoo, what it means to be a citizen in a democracy, racism, income gaps, privacy, future jobs, AI, cryptocurrency… We can make that list of things that really matter today (or probably will matter in the future) a mile long.

And after we do, we have to own up to the fact that, by and large, even though we know that’s the stuff of modern life, we in schools say to kids “Good luck with all of that. Hope you figure it all out. We can’t really deal with that stuff because we have to teach you Geometry, which, btw, we know most of you will NEVER use, but hey, it’s in the curriculum and we’ve been teaching it forever.”

This is one of the many existential questions we need to be grappling with: Why are we teaching the stuff we’re teaching?

via the Change.School community

3 Responses to “Why are we teaching the stuff we’re teaching?”

  1. It’s a messy foodfight with a bunch of participants:
    activist mathematicians who want every student to “think like a mathematician”,
    Parents who want everything to be just like they think they had it 20 years ago,
    politicians who are against Common Core because it furthers their agenda somehow,
    good, competent teachers who sincerely believe that they’ve been able to develop a curriculum that no one else can,
    lousy teachers who flit in and out of classrooms, occasionally doing something worthwhile,
    administrators who sit in a workshop and suddenly know The Truth about education,
    other administrators who takes the mandates from the Superintendent and promptly misinterpret them,
    education department bureaucrats who get new mandates from the legislature and pass them along to schools with little guidance on exactly what and how,
    book publishers who desperately need to sell a book to Texas and “adjust” the content accordingly.

    Did I miss anyone?

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