This Isn’t Just MY Problem, Friend

Last night I was stumbling around the Internet and came across a great article from Paul Grobstein, a Biologist from Bryn Mawr College. Entitled This Isn’t Just MY Problem, Friend, Grobstein ruminates on science education, education, American culture, and what to do about it.

This article is from 1991 and his thoughts couldn’t be more applicable to today’s learning environments. He makes great points on how we should be teaching students how to think. How students should be given chances to think for themselves and heaven forbid learn from mistakes they will make along the way. In a world where regurgitating facts and the schooling process are paramount, Grobstein’s poignant arguments our certainly needed more then ever.

My favorite passage from the article exemplifies everything I think is wrong with education today.

But you know what they come home showing me? Worksheets where they got everything right. That’s what they think they’re SUPPOSED to be proud of. That they can sit, and concentrate, and finish what they’re doing (they don’t get to go out to recess unless they do), and get everything right. Well, dammit, THAT’s not thinking. That’s learning to be efficient and get the answers you’re supposed to get. Thinking is something else entirely. Its being curious, and being wrong most of the time, and maybe, just maybe coming up with something you’ve made that you’re proud of and pleased with, something all your own (even if it turns out later that someone else had thought of it too).

If you care about changing the way learners learn I urge you to take a look at the full article here.