[Its.an.education.project] Questions for education projects. The life cycle of a great education.
billkerr at gmail.com
Sat May 3 05:41:06 CEST 2008
Good questions, SJ
I think there also needs to be something in there about different learners
being different or that learning styles that work for one learner may not
work for another. Perhaps those who learn readily without formal instruction
are just one subset of all learners. For those people school may well feel
like a prison or a sophisticated form of child abuse. Other learners may
need far more structure than is fashionable to admit in constructionist
study groups. There actually appears to be evidence for this.
However, Wheldall is concerned that low-progress readers do not learn to
read naturally. "They will only learn to read with careful, systematic
instruction to which phonics instruction is central," he says.
"The top 25 per cent of students will learn to read with little instruction,
and for these students the 'whole language' approach will work well. The
middle 50 per cent will learn to read if they get some reasonable
instruction, while the remaining 25 per cent of low-progress readers will
fail to learn to read if they do not have systematic instruction using
phonics," he adds.
Wheldall explains that after decades of scientific research we now know how
"We know that children who struggle to learn to read find it difficult to
break words down into their component sounds," he says. "There appears to be
a phonological ability that some people have in abundance, while others
struggle - it is just the way we are. There is clear evidence that those who
struggle to break words into their component sounds will have difficulty
learning to read. It is the way the brain works."
Other important issues:
- Impact of social class / disadvantaged background on learning (what
is the answer for third generation unemployed - there are a whole bunch of
hard to solve problems in the disadvantaged areas of wealthy countries -
these houses often have a surplus of passive media, eg.TV in every room)
- Are better qualified teachers the answer irrespective of technology.
eg. Finland is top of PISA tests and requires masters degrees for their
Jaime Escalante succeeded brilliantly with low tech instructionist methods
in disadvantaged areas of the USA (watch the movie - Stand and Deliver or
look him up on wikipedia)
If I am casting the net too wide with these questions then they still might
serve a useful purpose of how the net should be cast, what should be in and
out and why.
Much of this is a war zone but OLPC was prepared to fight some sort of war
from the start. Which war(s) are we prepared to fight and which ones not?
On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 12:54 PM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> What does a great education look like? Is it something attainable, with
> depth and scope? Is it an unending cycle of empowerment and
> What are examples of educational concepts carried out to great success?
> What are good things for learning alone; and what are good things to learn
> What are ways for a community of hundreds to learn together over the
> course of a generation?
> What are good things for learning this way? What are good bodies of
> knowledge to create this way?
> Some have suggested that [books] can be a boon to learning, that children
> and apprentices learn better with them, even when they are working with a
> teacher or master. Others say the same about [dynabooks] and [the
> information superhighway].
> What are canonical illustrations or studies of the effects of these
> What are their advantages and disadvantages?
> How fundamental are each to different stages of learning?
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> Its.an.education.project at tema.lo-res.org
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