Check out my new article in the Skanner on the Teaching with Purpose Conference here.
Excellent and well written article, Bruce. I hope the conference is wildly successful. It’s time to find answers for education.
I remember many years ago when my kids were in school, I read an article about an African nation that was using USA materials in class – testing memory working with recognizable objects. The non-English speaking kids were failing the memory test. Finally, a professor saw the problem. These particular children lived in the country and were not familiar with the images. The professor decided to ask the kids to bring sixteen small rocks to school. He placed the sixteen rocks in the 4×4 grid – gave the kids a specific amount of time to memorize where each one was – then cleared the grid. Each child was able to remember and reconstruct the grid perfectly. Obviously, it was this group of children, with superior memory skills, that suddenly went to the head of the class!
“Don’t speak to me of science, when I cannot add and subtract. Don’t speak to me of faith, when I cannot trust. Don’t speak to me of responsibility, when I am cold. Don’t speak to me of morals, when I have no choices to survive; nor family, gone, because it cannot sustain itself. Understanding people’s experience is the key to ‘modern’ education. That starts with helping them to understand themselves, because of where they have been – and showing them there is a way forward. There’s nothing wrong with brains – they just need to be unlocked and allowed to be free.” Texasjune 2011