Friday, June 11, 2010

A Blueprint for Reinventing Education

I've just written an article, A Blueprint for Reinventing Education. It will appear as a cover story in the August issue of Mensa's national magazine. I thought you might enjoy an advance look: Click HERE.

There's still time for me to change it, so I welcome your comments.


Ben Casnocha said...

Great piece. Two suggestions if there's still time to edit:

1. Emphasize / explore the online ed more. There have been many online ed experiments so far -- have any worked? If so, cite them to back up the point.

2. The "explore careers in elementary school" point I don't agree with. Seems too early and could backfire by encouraging young students to put themselves in career boxes before they know anything about the world. I say there should be career curriculum at the high school level, and it shouldn't be about picking a career as much as learning how to run experiments in the real world to figure out what you are best at.

Marty Nemko said...

Most online ed sucks. I don't want to look at that. That's why I stressed the immersive, interactive.

Exploration beginning in 6th grsde doesn't mean committing anywhere near sixth grade.

I like your idea of doing real-world experiments to try careers out--frankly, though, that's standard: job shadowing, volunteering, etc.

Anonymous said...

Does the ed suck, or is it the students? Yale has their evolutionary biology course online as video. In principle, I should be interested to hear what they're teaching a) there (since it's not where I went) and b) now (since it's been a bit, and I know there are going to be recent studies that address things that were still open questions when I was an undergrad.)

I tend to find watching Hulu more compelling, after years of not having a TV at all. I can only hope I get sated.

But for now? I suck.

Is there anyone making an effort, maybe with sharp high school kids, to actually use the MIT curriculum? It's all online now, so if someone had kids who needed to be in school anyhow perhaps they're looking at using some of the first year courses directly plugged into a good AP curriculum, with scheduled times, teachers who know the stuff, etc?

Marty Nemko said...

Courses taught by university professors, ESPECIALLY research universities like MIT and YALE are light-years worse in quality than what I've proposed: a team of the top K-12 teachers paired with an expert on immersive, interactive instruction.

Anonymous said...

What I was wondering was not about having kids watch math 1 lectures by themselves, but doing it in a structured context. I ask not because it would be applicable to your main goal, which is earlier education, but because it might be a way to figure out what qualities make a super-teacher translate into a broadcastable super-teacher and what kinds of support students would need from paraprofessionals in the structure of your piece.

But thinking back on it, the classes I learned most from were either very small and hence much more interactive with the prof or classes where I had a lot of interaction with fellow students. In the big cattle call lectures, the quality of the TAs was all over the map, but that seems in retrospect to matter less than what the students accomplished working together.


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