An Education Manifesto

4 thoughts on “An Education Manifesto”

  1. I like the idea of interacting on social media. It’s kind of taboo for teachers of high school or lower to interact with students on social media however. I think it could be done as long as the teacher keeps the interaction on a more teacherly level instead of merely a kind of buddy buddyism which is what may be feared.

  2. “Second, because of undue federal pressure regarding accreditation, schools must attempt to quantify education through “assessment.” This means setting up burdensome and unneeded measures such as “metrics,” “rubrics,” …”

    This paragraph addresses an important point. As a university philosophy instructor, I’m required to use rubrics to grade student assignments. I don’t design the rubrics. Intentionally or not, the rubrics are structured so that a student can pass an assignment (say, in logic or ethics) without demonstrating a sufficient understanding of the subject. Thus, a student can receive a passing grade in a college logic course without learning the basics of logic.

    As such, the following is possible: a student enters professional life with a “B” in college-level logic. However, he doesn’t understand how entailment works, can’t distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning, doesn’t grasp the difference between an assertion and an argument, doesn’t know the rules of deductive logic (such as modus ponens), and can’t apply what he should be able to apply if he had learned the basics. Or, the student completes a course in ethics with a “B” and enters post-college life not knowing the difference between deontology and utilitarianism, between subjective morality and objective morality, or between descriptive facts of behavior and normative principles of morality.

    Meanwhile, the American college system claims another statistic: a college graduate who did not learn that which his degree signifies he should have learned. In such cases, the graduate misses significant learning opportunities, the teacher misses significant teaching opportunities, and the world misses the benefits of a properly educated college graduate.

    “Conditioners (yes, CS Lewis’s term from The Abolition of Man) shape what they do not know in order to know what which matters not: statistics out of context.”

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