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American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn't Exist

https://www.wired.com/2014/10/on-learning-by-doing/

wired.com

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn't Exist
Are Americans getting dumber? Our math skills are falling. Our reading skills are weakening. Our children have become less literate than children in many developed countries. But the crisis in American education may be more than a matter of sliding rankings on world educational performance scales.

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The Shifting Work Market

The Shifting Work Market

Becoming a skilled professional used to be a matter of learning what the professionals did, how and why they did it, and some general facts that somewhat described our societies and ourselves.

Nowadays, the traditional approach is no longer valid. Learning and doing have become inseparable in the face of conditions that invite us to discover.

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The Future Of Education

The Future Of Education

As climate change, population growth and technological development bring fast and drastic changes to our world, educational programs that encourage discovery and innovation become ever more necessary.

These programs teach that discovering brings not just good grades, or a financial reward. It brings the satisfaction that one can realize dreams, and thrive, in a world framed by major dramatic questions.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

Innovation is driven by incentives

There are three types of incentives:

  1. "If I don't figure this out, I might get fired." It will get you moving.
  2. "If I figure this out, I might help people and make a lot of money." It will produce creativity.
  3. "If we don't figure this out now, our very existence is threatened." Militaries deal with this, and it will fuel the most incredible problem-solving and innovation in a short time.

During World War II, there was a burst of scientific progress that took place. The government was in effect saying that if a discovery had any possible war value, then it had to be developed and put in use, regardless of the expense.

The conditions for big innovations to happen

The biggest innovations seldom happen when everyone's happy or safe. They happen when people are a little panicked and worried, and when they have to act quickly.

In 1932, the stock market fell by 89%. It was an economic disaster where almost a quarter of Americans were out of work. However, the 1930s was also the most productive and technologically progressive decade in history. Economist Alex Field writes that in 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with little increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input.

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Failure is different in science

Failure is different in science

The quote, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” has become a staple of self-help and business books.

But it is also the perfect quote to illust...

Failing better

Scientists should embrace failing better. Failing better means looking beyond the obvious, further than what you know and what you know how to do. Failing better happens when we allow ourselves to ask questions, doubt results, and allow uncertainty.

The way of science is not to stop failing once you've succeeded. Success has to be tested rigorously and considered for what it has not revealed. It has to be used to get to the next place of our ignorance.

A wider approach needed

Many scientists say that science is about a pragmatic approach to putting pieces into a puzzle, and the more pieces you add, the more successful you are.

But this approach is driving science into a corner. We can't keep up with the exponentially expanding literature of ever narrower details. This approach is turning scientists more and more into a secret society of oddballs, tolerated because once in a while, some gadget or cure drops emerge out of the otherwise impenetrable machinery. This process is doomed to run out of steam, or bore us all to death.

The need to understand psychology

The beginnings of psychology differ significantly from contemporary conceptions of the field. Modern psychology covers a range of topics, looking at human behavior en mental processes from the neur...

The Beginnings of Psychology

Psychology was not separate from philosophy until the late 1800s.

  • During the 17th century, philosopher Rene Descartes introduced the idea of dualism - that the mind and body were two entities that interact to complete the human experience.
  • While early philosophers relied on methods such as observation and logic, today's psychologists use scientific methodologies to draw conclusions about human thought and behavior.
  • Physiological research on the brain and behavior also contributes to psychology.

Psychology as a Separate Discipline

  • During the mid-1800s, a German physiologist Wilhelm Wundt outlined many of the major connections between the science of physiology and the study of human thought and behavior.
  • He viewed psychology as the study of human consciousness and tried to apply experimental methods to study internal mental processes.
  • His processes are known as introspection and seen as unreliable and unscientific today, but it helped to set the stage for future experimental methods.
  • The opening of his psychology lab In 1879 is considered to be the official start of psychology as a separate scientific discipline.