Bruce Deitrick Price is one my favorite writers about American K-12 education — here is his writing at American Thinker:
I love WIRED magazine. I read it cover-to-cover every month.
If you want to know about a complex digital phenomenon such as Stuxnet, for example, read the story in WIRED. That’s where Israeli and American brainiacs planted viruses and other malware in the Iranian nuclear program, thereby crippling it for several years. The complexity of this operation was almost beyond human grasp. Most of Iran’s centrifuges and gauges were controlled by foreign enemies. Motors ran at destructively high speeds, but the gauges said everything was fine.
In one area, however, WIRED disappoints me greatly. The editors don’t seem to grasp that Stuxnet-like phenomena abound throughout American K-12.
As with Stuxnet, you have viruses and malware planted in every public school. Genuine, efficient education is virtually impossible to achieve. Every aspect of the school’s operation is compromised. Gauges don’t give good readings; centrifuges run at the wrong speeds. Hostile forces seem to control everything. One is reminded of the famous A Nation At Risk report (1983), which declared: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
It was. It is.
Good pedagogical techniques are like an efficient machine or a well designed circuit. You get the most results with the least energy. That’s what science is all about.
Well, here is some tragic news. You won’t find such fancy outcomes in our K-12.
What our schools are full of is bad science and egregious engineering. That’s where I tell you that to learn to read or do arithmetic, you have to hop on one foot, wear only denim, or whistle “Dixie.” In other words, the pedagogy includes unnecessary and destructive steps.
Read more: American Thinker
Image credit: Wikipedia.