Headline Oct 22, 2015/ *STUDENTS* : ''' !MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED? '''



IN TRUTH   -in total truth, I must confess,  that in Pakistan, the first historic host of !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless, and for that matter, in  almost all of the Developing World-

Education is a demonizing formula. The results, the status of the republics, driven to its knees, is right before you. Slimy education is never a choice.

Research shows that  students with a concrete level  ''core knowledge''  are better at remembering advanced facts and concepts as they go along.

The whole world it seems, is raving about the documentary  ''Most Likely To Succeed.'' And its very easy to see what the excitement is about. For one the the bold indictment, writes a highly respected author, is of the entire K-12 educational system.

And with this unbelievable inference, go ahead and read on:

Greg Whiteley's documentary argues that the American school system is ultimately built on a Prussian model designed over 100 years ago. Its main activity is downloading content into-

Students' minds, with success or failure measured by standardized tests. This lecture and textbook method leaves many children/students bored and listless. 

Worse, it is unsuited for the modern workplace. Information is now ubiquitous. You can look up any fact on your phone. A computer can destroy Ken Jennings, the world's best  ''Jeopardy! contestant!'' at a game of informational retrieval.

Computers can write routine news stories and do routine legal work. Our test driven schools are training kids/students for exactly the rote tasks that can be done much more effectively by computers.   

The better approach,  the film argues, is to take content off center stage and to emphasize the relational skills future workers will actually need : being able to motivate, collaborate, persevere and navigate through complex buffet of freelance gigs.

Whiteley highlights one school he believes is training students well. This is High Tech High, a celebrated school in San Diego business and tech leaders.

This school takes an old idea, project-based learning, and updates in tech clothing.

There are no textbooks, no bells marking the end of one-period or start of the next. Students are given group projects built around a driving question.

One group studied why  civilization rise and fall and then built a giant wooden model, with moving gears and gizmos to illustrate the students' theory. Another group studied disease transmitted through blood and made a film. 

''MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED'' doesn't let us see what students think causes civilizational decline, but it devotes a lot of time to how skilled they are at working in teams, demonstrating grit and developing self-confidence.

There are some great emotional moments . A shy girls blossoms as a threat director. A smart but struggling boy eventually solves the problem that has stumped him all year. 

The documentary is about relationships, not subject matter. In the school, too, teachers cover half as much content as in a regular school. Long stretches of History and other subject curriculums are effectively skipped.

Students do not develop conventional study habits.

The big question is whether such a shift from content to life skills is the proper response to a high-tech economy. I'd say it's at best a partial response.

Ultimately, what matters is not only how well you can collaborate in groups, but the quality of the mind you bring to the group. In rightly playing up soft skills the movie underemphasizes intellectual virtues.

For example, it ignores the distinction between information processing, which computers are good at, and knowledge, which they are not.

IF we want to produce  Wise People , what are the stages to produce it?

The Honour and Serving of the ''Educational Operational Research'' continues. Thank you for reading, and I hope sharing forward.

With respectful dedication to the Students of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Dark Reality '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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