Sunday, July 10, 2011

What Can Be Learned? By Whom? Under What Circumstances?

“Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results” -- Albert Einstein
Is the push for academic achievement in American schools a pursuit of useable knowledge? Or is it little more than an ego-gratification activity? Will having more “college-educated” people make us, as a nation, wealthier, stronger, wiser? Or will it merely contribute to the pointless, evanescent conflicts generated by simpering celebrity spokespersons.

We Americans have long rushed to solve problems without considering what exactly the problems were. Americans in the Armed Services have, through many a battle, suffered mightily from hastily under-planned, under-resourced military campaigns based on false, or outmoded assumptions. (Watch the Military Channel on TV for many an example forthrightly described as such.)

American public schools have been being “reformed” for over a hundred years. Each “reform” has been much the impetus for the next. But who wants to be bothered with “philosophical questions” such as those given above in the title of this blog entry?

The danger of such inquiry, I suppose, is that if we were to examine those questions carefully, we might come to conclusions that bring us to reject proposals and programs dear to the hearts of many an ideologue, or “entrepreneur.”

 For references and to examine these issues further, see Models of Learning

--- EGR

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