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Kids have strong opinions about school

and they should!

Amanda Ripley @ PopTech 2012 looks at why different areas perform as they do when compared using standardised tests. Her approach is well represented by the quote included in the Vimeo posting of the talk:

“Kids have strong opinions about school. We forget as adults how much time they sit there contemplating their situation.”

(Hat Tip: Scott McLeod @ Dangerously Irrelevant)

While this is an American talk focusing on the American situation, it makes some really interesting observations.

It is much more important to help people learn how to think, than to have them simply memorise stuff. If you know why you are doing something you don’t particularly enjoy, you can not only do it better, but also do it with better grace and benefit more from having done it. Thinking is hard sometimes, but hard and bad are not necessarily the same thing. After all:

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – B. F. Skinner