Sunday, December 11, 2011

Save us from the Establishment Education Experts

The New Framework for K-12 Science Education. What They Missed.

The National Research Council of the National Academies recently released their landmark epistle, A Framework for K-12 Science Education. This book advocates the practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas that students should know at each K-12 grade level. The purpose is to influence the science education standards that are developed by each state.

While I applaud the purpose, I find much to criticize about these recommendations from this august body of experts. I won’t burden you with the details on everything I find lacking, but one whole category of recommendations seems to have been overlooked. Their guidelines say almost nothing about brain and behavior. Students are humans, and the most distinctive and important feature of being human is the brain and the behavior it controls. Why don't we require students to understand more about their brain and behavior, particularly as to the relationships to social interactions, emotions, and learning and memory? This is the one category of human experience where children especially need guidance and education. And in this category something that is especially applicable to school children is the science about learning and memory. We tell school children WHAT to learn (much of which is irrelevant to their life at the moment), but not HOW to learn. That is really bizarre. U.S. education needs to be rescued from the clutches of the establishment “experts.”

Bill Klemm
Author of e-book, Better Grades, Less Effort

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