“There are a lot of people out there who are capitalizing on our fears that we won’t be good enough to compete with the rest of the world,” Kathy Hirsh-Pasek says.
We’ve gotten very narrow in the way we think about education. We think: When it’s back to school, that’s when learning starts. But, of course, it has to seep over the walls of the school and extend into our everyday lives — into our homes and communities, too.
We’ve also gotten very used to thinking the grade on our report card and how we do on a bubble test is all there is to learning. But scientists have been almost at the point of screaming that that’s not what it’s all about.
In fact, having social skills, the ability to think critically and the ability to “learn how to learn” may be even more important than what’s otherwise tested on those bubble exams.
So as we send our children back to school, I hope we will consider the breadth of skills they need as we rethink success for the 21st century.
Why the learning industry has it wrong
There are a lot of people out there capitalizing on our fears that we won’t be good enough to compete with the rest of the world. That leads to a proliferation of products that feed those fears.
My “favorite” recent one was the tampon with the speaker on the end. Apparently now, we are lucky enough to have a product like this so we can talk to our fetus even before the child is born. That’s kind of outrageous.
We have more than 82,000 so-called educational apps on the market right now. Yet, it’s a market that’s completely unregulated, so we don’t know if these are educational or not.
We have test companies that are making millions of dollars because it’s so profitable once you decide learning is just about how you do on a particular test. Then we feed and fuel those fears so that children will do better on those tests.
That’s not what real learning is about.
Read the full story here: http://www.today.com/parents/how-grades-tests-fail-kids-how-do-learning-right-t102220