How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses

First of all, I’m always wary about any news article with “could” in the headline. Second, Wired produces a lot of paragraphs without actually giving away anything about the radical new teaching method (which is simply a motion from the “sage on the stage” model to the “guide on the side” — the current state of the art in teaching, and a huge difference from the rote memorization and social norming that happened in industrial-age schools, but hardly as radical as the headline suggests). However, the opening does a good job of hooking me along.

20131016-115341.jpg[T]he dominant model of public education is still fundamentally rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else. (In 1899, William T. Harris, the US commissioner of education, celebrated the fact that US schools had developed the “appearance of a machine,” one that teaches the student “to behave in an orderly manner, to stay in his own place, and not get in the way of others.”) We don’t openly profess those values nowadays, but our educational system—which routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills—doubles down on the view that students are material to be processed, programmed, and quality-tested. School administrators prepare curriculum standards and “pacing guides” that tell teachers what to teach each day. Legions of managers supervise everything that happens in the classroom; in 2010 only 50 percent of public school staff members in the US were teachers. —

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