TED Conversations

Dennis Hitzeman

manager, Innisfree Farm

This conversation is closed.

What if we refocus education on helping students learn what they can do with what they have learned?

Inspired by this weblog post: http://teacherleaders.typepad.com/the_tempered_radical/2012/01/what-if-schools-created-a-culture-of-do-instead-of-a-culture-of-know.html

What say you?

Share:
  • thumb
    Feb 4 2012: The problem does not lie with schools or teachers.

    The problem is with the bureaucrats (politicians) that insist on having empirical evidence to show added value. This archaic way of measuring anything then dictates everything that is taught (why teach something that cannot be 'measured').

    Ken Robinson and the like have some charismatic (and correct) words to say on the matter but they are targeting the wrong people. Instead of trying to inspire educators, they should be putting pressure on the policy makers and the people in grey that keep screwing up education for the sake of making their own pointless jobs easier.

    Once they are set adrift, then we'll see real change for the better in the classroom.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2012: I agree that we all need to target policy makers as part of this effort at transformation. We also need to target communities, families, and parents that continue to tolerate a failed system that consumes as many as 15 years of their childrens' lives.

      But we do need to target the educators too. If there is any group involved in education that has the capacity to agitate for immediate, meaningful change, it is the organizations that represent teachers in the United States. I live in Ohio and saw first hand what they are capable of doing when they worked for the repeal of SB 5. If they would target that kind of effort on improving their own circumstances and the circumstances of the educations they have been entrusted with, the change would already be underway.
  • thumb
    Feb 3 2012: This is a GREAT idea Dennis!
    For me, life has been, and continues to be an adventurous exploration, so I've learned by continually building on what I learned before. Each new step, is a step toward the next part of the adventure, and in that respect, I percieve everything to be interconnected.

    Unfortunately, many aspects of our life experiences have been disconnected, and I think/feel it is time to co-operate and recognize the interconnectedness of everything. By percieving education in that light, everything becomes much more interesting and I feel more motivated to learn:>)
  • thumb
    Feb 3 2012: Teaching subjects through practical implication, real life examples rather than theoretic ones.
    I think subjects should cross over more.. wouldn't it be cool if the math teacher taught in conjunction with the physics teacher and the art teacher ?
    • thumb
      Feb 3 2012: I was fortunate enough to have that kind of experience in high school, so I can say from first-hand experience that it completely changes the way the students learn, what they learn, and what they retain.

      Now, how to we extend that experience to every student? I wish I knew...
      • thumb
        Feb 3 2012: It sounds like you had a good education there.
        I think a theatre production, as whimsical as it may sound, is the ideal classroom.
        I'm definitely not bias here because personally I find theatre a little uncomfortable, however.

        Every subject can be taught through a collaborative theatre production. All of the academic subjects, any chosen specific or hybrid subject and even things like life skills, social skills, business or physical exercise. All in one classroom. You even have the advantage of a critical audience aspect and then a presentation at the end for evaluation. Gives a whole new perspective on "play-school"
        • thumb
          Feb 3 2012: Now that's an interesting idea!
        • thumb
          Feb 3 2012: It's called Psycho-drama in the psychology world, and has GREAT learning possibilities:>)
  • Feb 2 2012: Seems like a good idea, Dennis.