Teaching Smart vs. not LO13677

Edwin Brenegar III (brenegar@bulldog.unca.edu)
Tue, 20 May 1997 08:04:10 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO13648 --


I couldn't agree with you more about students now graduating with the
basic skils. I find that they do know more than I did when I finished
high school, but the world has changed. The amount of information which
an individual has to absorb, interpret and then decide whether to act upon
has grown substantially. I heard the chancellor of one of the UNC system
universities comment that by the year 2020, information will be doubling
every six months. I don't know where he got that figure, but even if its
every 12 or 18 months, that is still an amazing thought.

You are also correct that they need thinking skills. But those skills
need to be learned in the context of an integrated curriculum. At lunch a
couple months ago with some faculty from UNC-Asheville, we were talking
about what students don't know when they come to the university. These
were faculty in the natural sciences. They said that they could do the
technical work, but had little understanding of the philosophy and history
of sciences, and therefore were uninformed about science. They didn't
have an integrated knowledge, and therefore unable to make inform
judgements and interpretations about what they discovered.

Finally, when we criticize education today, we need to recognize that
times have changed since "I was in school." Our judgements need to be
based on what will be needed in the future, not some sense of lack in the
past. It is more difficult to teach today, than "back in the good ole
days." Part of the problem is that the establishment has resisted the
type of changes which are necessary to provide an educational product
which addresses the thoughts you offer.

Thanks, I enjoyed your posting,

Ed Brenegar


Edwin Brenegar III <brenegar@bulldog.unca.edu>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>