Wednesday, December 30, 2015

on the other hand

In support of yesterday's post referencing the Dunning-Kruger Effect and the "peak of mount stupid," Joe sent me a link to an article in the The New York Times telling that schools are graduating students at a higher rate, but that those students are ill prepared for college or for life.

Little that takes place in a conventional public school has much to do with the well known principles of child development or with how children learn best. From the time of Froebel, (and before) educators made an effort to understand children and how they develop as intelligent human beings. Maria Montessori followed Froebel by nearly a century and described child development as follows:
...we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child. ––Dr. Maria Montessori
If you study the graph shown in yesterday's post, you can see why educatonal policy makers are reluctant to make significant changes in schooling. The valley of despair is deep and the descent from mount stupid is abrupt and would seem cataclysmic for those peering over the abyss and the long efforts required to ascend to more effective schooling.

My boxes, on the other hand,  now have pulls attached and are ready for finishing when I have a nice day to do it.

Make, fix, create, and insist that others learn likewise.


  1. Doug, Could your next book be a step-by-step guide on how to start a school centered around the educational philosophy of Friedrich Froebel? The name of the school could simply be the Friedrich Froebel Academy. It could be underwritten with some of the millions that Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly pledged for education. What do you think?

  2. Scott, I love the way you think, but I have no way to connect with Mr. Zuckerberg. He has the kind of generosity that the world needs. We already have the Clear Spring School where I teach, so there is already and interesting model of progressive education that implements a hands-on, hearts engaged philosophy and curriculum. More money and some publicity would help. And it would be more effective that to create something old from scratch.