school daze

August 28, 2004

EUCAUSE Review, vol. 39, no. 3 (May/June 2004): 48–58.
Of Icebergs, Ships, and Arrogant Captains

Peter Smith

Peter Smith is Founding P# Schools stifle learning. The U.S. higher education establishment largely ignores existing knowledge about how people learn best. We continue to substitute the traditional model of education for an informed, professionally based educational process. Our actions say that we are committed to a specific version of how to do business—a version that is uninformed, structurally and professionally, by current research. As a result, millions of people (of all incomes and races) fail to thrive in schools, not because they lack the capacity to learn but because colleges and universities lack the capacity to educate. We ignore the science of learning, asking students and workers to “tough it out”—to succeed or fail—based on their sheer will and effort. This attitude is as outrageous as it is unnecessary.

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