Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A thought on a framework for learning

the Standards Working Group of the Learning Metrics Task Force prepared a series of initial recommendations to identify the competencies, knowledge or areas of learning that are important for all children and youth to master in order to succeed in school and life. I have copied the summary table from the report of that Group.

I wonder if this is enough. For example, there seems to be nothing about skills that would be useful in many forms of employment -- butcher, baker, candle stick maker.

Do we not want children to be helped to develop character in school? If so, what do we want them to learn there?

We make critically important decisions in life emotionally -- who we will marry, how we will treat our children, our siblings and parents, how we will treat our friends and our enemies. Should children be helped in school to utilize their emotions effectively with their reason in making such choices? If so, what do we want them to learn?

I think the table is weak on helping kids to learn how to evaluate information and its sources and how to make good decisions, especially decisions under uncertainty and ignorance. I think the decision processes are different for different kinds of decisions, and children would be well served learning how to make decisions well of all these kinds. The decision making of a person in crisis (fireman fighting a fire, policeman interrupting a crime, pilot dealing with an emergency in flight) is quite different than that of a business person deciding on an investment. Both could be learned. But what do we want children to learn in this respect in school?

We have learned a great deal in recent decades about how the brain works, how our behavior is determined. We will almost certainly learn more in future decades. The learning goals for schools should reflect current knowledge of what actually goes on, providing help to the student for learning all the things that will help in life. It should also provide a basis for learning new things as they are determined to be important.

And more, including training the brain to work well. Me


John Daly said...

Sandra Day O'Connor says that the important lessons she learned on the ranch that served her on the Supreme Court were self reliance and how to work hard.

John Daly said...

UNESCO was founded to build the defenses peace in the minds of men, focusing on education and other means. Should building the defenses of peace in the minds of students be one of the learning objectives of educators?