Make Learning Real

I found a new book I need to read:  Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn by Cathy Davidson, a professor at Duke University.

The book is discussed in a MindShift post that is truly overwhelming with ideas and challenges. “We’re 15 years into something so paradigm-changing that we have not yet adjusted our institutions of learning, work, social life, and economic life to account for the massive change,” says Davidson.

She has five solid ideas of things that need to happen in order for the education system to move into the 21st century. Personally, I would love to see these happen in the schools my kids attend!

I give an edited version here:

  1. End standardized end-of-grade tests.  Instead, test in challenging ways, using tough game mechanics with real-time feedback on results so kids can learn from the test—not be taught to scam the test!
  2. Make all learning real, relevant, tied to communities, with real application in the kids’ lives outside of the classroom.  Learning should have an impact beyond getting an “A” on  the assignment.
  3. Teach kids to think through, with, about, for–and create–new, interactive digital global communication.
  4. Restore arts, music, shop, P.E., dance: Kids need the soul-stirring learning that lets them move, make, sing, create, dream.
  5. Eliminate the “college prep” and AP distinctions, and stop making college the implicit standard for all education.
From “Five Changes Every School Should Make” by Tina Barseghian.
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