earlier post: learning evolves pyramid
The first one is a repeat and the other two are new iterations
The pyramid is a thinking tool to provide a big picture framework about what I see as important for the future of education
Identify the important knowledge and deliver it in an engaging way so that it connects to all, including those who are disempowered through their social class
The idea behind the pyramid heuristic is that we shouldn't be too polar in our thinking. Too much polarity is what seems to go wrong in much policy formulation and argument.
eg. No child left behind (NCLB) in the USA by all accounts has failed through its emphasis on addressing disadvantage in such a way that reduces successful, creative teachers to tears - and drives them out of the profession
eg. the use of Game Maker software is good for engagement of many but can easily capitulate to a relatively impoverished knowledge agenda (make games) in practice
Some notes about the changes in the iterations:
Fundamentals can be misleading because it may be impossible to pin down fundamentals. Our beliefs about what is fundamental change as our knowledge increases. eg. proof in geometry was seen as fundamental for thousands of years after Euclid but is not seen as so important now (can be elaborated)
Creativity is a hard to define word. I think that engagement or emotion represents more what the real debates in education are about. Is school about teaching the basics seriously, or is it about engaging students? Some schools now define their main mission as "Students enjoy school". I have the feeling that some teachers are afraid to challenge kids intellectually through fear that they won't enjoy it (and it's hard work for the teacher).
Social class is more inclusive than only focusing on the disadvantaged. Power is more general again but might obscure the importance of social class in society in general.
Technology is missing from the pyramid. It's a subset of knowledge, which is a can of worms in itself. Computer technology is 50 years old. The Enlightenment provides the basis for modernity and is 300 years old. (obligatory remarks about the shallowness of the web2.0 movement omitted here)
The pyramid is open to many interpretations. It's meant to be a thinking and discussion tool. The important thing is to avoid polar opposites and the pyramid is useful here.
The nihilism of socialism - The nihilism of socialism has no deterrent terrors for the worker, for as Marx said long ago, “he has nothing to lose but his chains.” Continue reading →
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