Jane Robbins | Seven Deadly Progressive Education Myths

via The Federalist:


Seven Myths About Education (200x200)Seven Deadly Progressive Education Myths

Jane Robbins | June 17, 2016

In many ways, the progressive education establishment is akin to a leftist “Hive”—people who think and speak alike and move in concert, even without centralized control or an active conspiracy.


We hear ad nauseum that schools must turn out students who are college- and career-ready and prepared to compete in the twenty-first-century global economy. […] To create such students, schools must teach less factual content (or knowledge), which is instantly available through the Internet, and focus more on “noncognitive skills” such as critical thinking and collaboration.

There’s a surface plausibility to these tropes. Who could oppose teaching “critical thinking”? And it’s true, isn’t it, that most facts are available in a matter of seconds? So shouldn’t schools focus more on what to do with those facts? But many traditionalists are skeptical of these claims, perhaps without being able to identify exactly why. […]

Thankfully, there’s a book that explains why these pedagogical claims are 100 percent wrong. […]

Daisy Christodoulou wrote Seven Myths About Education after teaching for several years in a British secondary school (British schools, like American, are controlled by the Hive). As a teacher she wrestled daily with “astonishing evidence of the pupils’ low levels of basic skills and knowledge” and began researching why the dominant pedagogy wasn’t working.

She discovered that scientific research about how the brain functions and how human beings learn utterly refutes everything she had been taught in education school. These are the myths Christodoulou explodes:

  • Learning facts interferes with developing understanding
  • Teacher-led instruction is passive
  • Because of 21st-century changes in technology and in the economy, students must be taught differently
  • We should teach “transferable skills” such as critical thinking rather than content knowledge
  • Projects and activities are the best way for students to learn
  • Teaching knowledge is indoctrination

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Read the full commentary at The Federalist



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