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The Anti-Intellectualism in American Schools

As always I've browsing my subscription and today there is a very interesting document published in Education Week Magazine by Nel Noddings who is professor of education, emerita, at Stanford University and her latest book is Critical Lessons: What Our Schools Should Teach. What she is doing is to work around these questions: All students need more mathematics today than people did in previous generations? What sort of mathematics? Must it be traditional algebra and geometry? Why?
In a bow to analytic geometry, the distance formula is memorized, but with no mention of the Pythagorean theorem. In many geometry classes, no proofs at all are done. (Reducing the emphasis on proof is justified, but eliminating it entirely casts doubt on whether the course should be called geometry.) The end result is that many students have “algebra” and “geometry” on their transcripts, but they can’t pass state tests in math, and they need remedial courses in college. They have had pseudo-algebra and pseudo-geometry. This is pedagogical fraud, and such students are doubly cheated. They do poorly in the required courses, and they are deprived of courses in which they might have done well

We are not promoting intellectual habits of mind. Her objection is to the virtual elimination of intellectual content in many of today’s academic courses.

The second signal is that the overuse of specific learning objectives in all subjects works against the development of intellectual habits of mind. We should expand the possibilities, not narrow them. Intellectual life is challenging, enormously diverse, and rewarding. It requires initiative and independent thinking, not the tedious following of orders. It should not be reduced to mental drudgery, she says.

Take a walk and what are the Best of Blogs in a summary presented by Alexander Russo. So, we can help our students o little one understand better what a blog is and try to help them better.

Now, a little quiz. Do you know who created the very first blog? You might want to start here. No matter what Scoble has said about his former employer: Microsoft sucks!

History of the Blog: Evolution of Blogging.

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