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Topic: Same textbooks, same lessons, at the same time
Replies: 10   Last Post: Jun 5, 2007 1:00 AM

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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Same textbooks, same lessons, at the same time
Posted: Jun 4, 2007 2:22 PM
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I side with Haim in mocking the assembly line one size
fits all mentality that still haunts the USA's education
machine hailing from "factory schools" days, i.e. we use
Taylorism and regimentation, to turn out carbon copy clone
good doobies who'll feed big industry the steady supply of
workers that capitalism craves (hey, what system *doesn't*
want an army, an obedient rank and file, hey?).

In the 1960s (some earlier), the computer gurus tried to
work around this "one size fits all" inefficiency (it
really doesn't work well) by setting up "self guided
readings" in software, i.e. you'd come to decision points
with built in assessments, and be encouraged to reread
certain portions, or try out on this new topic, and so
on -- everything coded so a teacher wouldn't need to keep
track of 45+ kids and their many exquisite idiosyncrasies.

But of course the "I'm special" crowd can't abide any
whiff of artificial intelligence doing some of the grunt
work. The very idea that junior, a next Einstein in the
making, would take instruction from a "mere machine"...
Of course that wasn't the proposal, but proud parents,
once they get that glint in their eye, may be hard to
talk sense to.

Fortunately, a lot of this is just water under the bridge
by now. Now we've got Google.

Kids come home from school (a dino graveyard in many
cases) and discover for themselves what it means to read
at their own pace.

For some, that'll mean snarfing up Amy's book in an
afternoon. For others, like Owen the topologist, it'll be
like "who's Amy?"[1] (Harvard business, early in her
career a student of Dr. Arthur Loeb's, the MIT
crystallographer who wrote some front matter for
Synergetics (he taught about A & B modules in his course
plus kept an eye on Bucky as he rose through the ranks,
looking for character flaws (check Anansi's new Coxeter
bio for more details ))).



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