We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We should re-think the subject boundaries in high school education so that they align with important ideas and concepts that will give our children useful analytical lenses for viewing the world.
This education theorist is obviously an idiot. He proposes to teach prepared. synthetic synthesis before those empty brains have any fundamental knowledge. Maybe the foundational knowledge is just too hard to learn or teach. It is both.
Synthesis? Do it on your own time if you can. Got your calc? Got Avogadro's Law? Gas laws? Got the laws of thermodynamics? And the laws of electromagnetism? Got the math of cardiac physiology? If you have these things, and more, maybe we can talk "synthesis." I would wager the author knows none of these.
New ideas about formal education can be assumed to be wrong.
We should reserve true education to the future ruling elite: white, heterosexual, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant men, aged 35 to 65 who own real estate and who derive their entire income from salaries and wages earned at profit-making corporations.
The ruling elite would be the only ones to vote or hold elective or appointive public office, including faculty positions at public universities.
The educational idiot could babble on, but he would not be allowed to vote or hold any elective or appointive public office.
I always wonder if these people have really met any K-12 students or if the only way out of NEA union hell is to be a curriculum consultant.
Science has been really destroyed in schools despite the promises to improve it. When I went to high school in one of the upscale Chicago suburbs in the 1970s we had biology, two levels of physics (PSSC and AP) and similar math and chemistry. The AP courses were limited to students who really were ready. We had a two high school district (2500 students per school) so of 1250 seniors only 10 took AP Physics. I blame the unions since they made it next to impossible to spend more to higher qualified science and math instructors ( I refuse to call it STEM!)
Today the money and emphasis is on "special ed". Is human progress made by spending extra money on educating the bottom 10% or the top 10%. When the education establishment is confused or unsure of the answer it is time to replace them.
Viewing history through complexity theory has some potential, but not for children. I'd say 90% of undergrads would struggle with the concepts in complexity theory. As someone else noted, giving students a basic understanding of history is a struggle in the best conditions.
I'll just note that the goal here seems to be aimed at indoctrination, rather than illumination. The focus on the "why" things happened opens the door for proselytizing, which seems to be the sole focus of education theory these days.
There are two conflicting goals in public education today that must be resolved. One goal is to provide everyone with the same education and another is to teach more stem to those who traditionally don't choose and like those classes. In general every class will function at the level of the worst student. Putting all students into chemistry classes simply degrades the quality of education for the best students. Taking affirmative action to make sure advanced math classes have the politically correct number of female and minority students will make it impossible for the best students to grow to their potential. If political correctness and affirmative action were alive and well when I was a kid I would have become the first baseman for the Boston Red Sox or the center for the Celtics. But thankfully for both of those teams they were allowed to select the best athlete for those jobs. That is how it should be. Not every high school student should be taking chemistry and calculus.
Not every high school student should be taking chemistry and calculus.
And those who have taught 9th grade Algebra under the "everybody should take Algebra" rule would rather not have to teach Algebra to everybody. I went to a supposedly good high school. About 10% of my senior class got National Merit Letters of Commendation or Finalists- which go to the top 2% nationwide. Yet even in this high-performing high school, a sixth or seventh of the class took Basic Math, a step below Algebra.