24th February 2013
Arnold Kling understands the dialectic.
In the legacy education model, teachers combine coaching, feedback, and content delivery. By coaching I mean advice, guidance, and encouragement. Feedback includes formal grading as well as informal praise and criticism. Content delivery includes lectures and reading assignments.
Perhaps the key to radically changing education is to break up those functions.
Most education reformers want to focus on low-end students. While this is a noble idea, I think it is not a good path for reform. When you fail, you do not know whether it is because the innovations were not good or because the student population is too difficult to reach.
As long as we have a government-run factory school model, where children classed by age are thrown into the same pot (regardless of ability) and are run through the system in batches, the system is going to be run on the basis of the politics of ‘Leave No Child Behind’, which means that the brighter a child is the shorter the end of the stick the child receives.