In my last posting, I stated a few of the findings in the Hole in the Wall experiments. The last was that schools need to include a rational system to know what to believe in.
Tonight I read a post by Ira Socol called “Question Everything” that really helps me with my thinking on this one.
In particular, I love this section that so clearly demonstrates the cycle of memorizers getting good grades and becoming teachers:
The teachers can almost always rattle off what is wrong with this projection, including the innate cultural bias attached – the diminuation of the southern hemisphere (Greenland, 1/14th the size of Africa, appears larger than that continent), the Americentric splitting of Asia, et al – but if I ask why this map is important, where it would be valuable, those same educators often freeze.
|but will this map help you get home?|
They know what they’ve “learned” (memorized) about the Mercator Projection, but as generations of U.S. educators never questioned the map which unrolled over the chalkboard, our educators today fail to question the shortcomings of the new maps.
So whether it is homework or due dates, school bells or school desks, or any of the “facts” we tend to put before students. You, them, we all, should be doubting everything, questioning everything.
That process not only builds a real kind of learning unavailable through memorization, it will create a next generation unwilling to accept the mistakes of the past and present.
And to me, that’s what education is about.
– Ira Socol
And maybe then we will be educating citizens who think like scientists, and we won’t need videos like this on climate change: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change.html