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You are here: Home Newsroom Education News Roundup Archive 2010 October 2010 It's time to decriminalize learning

It's time to decriminalize learning

  • 10-11-2010
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Blog by Rick Ayers/Huffington Post

There is something in a policy discussion that just loves numbers. We need data. No matter if the data are fuzzy, distorting, or simply unusable. People in the social sciences suffer from physics envy, we want clear and settled facts backed up by interesting charts, slopes, regression tables. Never mind that the best physics begins to call into question the settled nature of the data, still they get to use numbers. Our holy grail is the standardized test, even though these tests have been shown to be laughable in tracking student knowledge, biased towards those with more wealth and cultural capital, and destructive in narrowing and dumbing down the curriculum as schools focus on test prep to avoid closure. Any attempt to describe what happens in a good classroom in a complex way, in a way that captures the human elements, is dismissed as "anecdotal evidence" at best and, at worst, as granola-fuzzy-hippy sentimentality. (more...)

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