Tuesday, May 02, 2023

as a how-to writer... I uphold the truth.

 I and others have become increasingly concerned about what's called AI or artificial intelligence. Through programs like Chatbot GPT, AI can spew language, writing Shakespearian sonnets faster than you can spell Jackie Robinson. But what you get from the programs is BS. In fact, the more BS that's out there, the easier it becomes to fictionalize reality, and fool the pubic. AI gets even worse when it's creating videos and images intended to distort our understanding of reality.

When how-to writers write, our success is based not on being able to convince others to think what we think but to empower others to succeed in what we do, and we dare not lead others astray, as they will test what we've demonstrated in their own hands and haunt us for our failures.

This is one of the reasons that kids of all ages need to be doing real things in schools and that schools need as much as possible to be (not merely resemble) real life. The artificiality of the typical classroom environment leaves children untrained in the discernment of truth. It leaves them vulnerable to manipulation by despots, whether those despots are petty ones in our own families and communities, or are those who shape political opinions and rule nations.

When I spoke to the Holiday Island Rotary Club this last week, one member in the audience mentioned that she had visited Clear Spring School and that in her observations it was different from what she had observed in other schools. She had noted greater student participation and less teacher control, and she asked me if her observations and how she was describing things were correct.

I was reminded of a story local artist Zeek Taylor told of his first year of teaching high school art. The principal stepped into his classroom as he was preparing for the first day of school, and pronounced sternly as a warning, "Your kids must remain quiet." You'll not find that rule to be in force at the Clear Spring School, where teachers and students are responsive to each other, as must be the case for effective learning to take place.

I've had a few things running through my head of late. One is the Erikson-Anders 10,000 hour rule that suggests that to get world class at something, 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are required. Compare that to the roughly 16,000 hours kids spend at schools sitting passively at desks while teachers follow scripts devised by others and devoid of their own passion.

I've also been thinking about depression and boredom (not my own) that are imposed within the typical classroom environment. And I've been thinking about a revolution in which we empower teachers to do and create, and respect impassioned learning. 

If we each observe and reflect on our own learning experiences and build from there we see a few things that were noted by Diesterweg in the mid 1800's. These observations presented by Otto Salomon  in his book, the Principles of Educational Sloyd  are: Start with the interests of the child, move from the known to the unknown, from the easy to the more difficult, from the simple to the complex and from the concrete to the abstract. In this I repeat myself,  but if we were to design American education based on how we learn, and with an eye toward engaging students in the quest for truth, we'd be less at risk with regard to Artificial Intelligence, as each student would have real intelligences of their own and their 16,000 hours spent in schooling would not have been squandered. Better mental health would arise also.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment