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Philosophical Meanderings

What if:

The most significant result of “teaching” is the teacher learning far more than students?

Students learn not by what, how, when or why one might teach them, but by and through the processes they follow in formulating answers to questions posed to them?

All the adults who learned within the constraints of a system involving a “single, best answer” simply learned to believe that system is the “single, best answer” to how youths should/must be educated?

The push for standardization is based on skewed perceptions of “normalcy” learned (or imposed) during school and day-to-day life?

We are dead wrong about “education”???

About Brent Snavely

A construct of upbringing and society, holder of a BS. JD and an MA, I have practiced law more than 25 years. "The Truth shall set you free", but only if it is a Personal Truth that is based upon facts. Parrhesia may be humankind's only hope (see,


7 thoughts on “What if:

  1. I don’t really think these are what ifs….. they are more like statements of truth. What if, we were brave enough to actually have these discussions in public, with our families, in the media and with ourselves?

    Posted by dloitz | September 6, 2012, 7:33 pm
    • I’ve been doing just that with members of the GI, Silent, Boom and “X” Generations. The X-ers seem to get it. Most of the Boomers and all the GI and Silent Generation members (a significant voting and policy-making bloc) seem to miss the point entirely — some have responded in quite negative ways.

      Here’s to you, and wishing you the courage to speak a different truth,

      Posted by Brent Snavely | September 7, 2012, 12:34 am
  2. If “dead wrong” goes a step too far in describing US education, at least “critically ill” objectively fits the picture. Twenty years ago, a unique experience alerted me to how quickly children learn if a few conditions come together revolving around practice. The key point is that no skill grows without practice and skills grow only in proportion to practice. We practice knowledge by remembering and explaining it, which is why teachers learn so much. They “learn a subject by teaching it,” and students–mirroring the point above–need exactly the same process. This is easy to implement if teachers just arrange for students to explain everything to each other, working in pairs. Doing this , students blow the top off their achievement scores. On this theme, Rowman and Littlefield publishers are issuing my 3-volume Practice Makes Permanent series. The ideas there can, I believe, turn around or accelerate any classroom in a couple weeks. I’ll email the proof copies to anyone interested. Send your email address to John Jensen.

    Posted by John Jensen Ph.D. | September 7, 2012, 7:06 pm
  3. Yes and we need to understand that the murder of weirdness and otherness is the murder of our darling “innovation.”

    Posted by Chad Sansing | September 12, 2012, 8:31 am
    • Chad,

      It seems to me that the “abnormal”, obtuse and even abstruse are the change-agents. Do you have any ideas as to how we might get around or over the notion that these oddities are in some way ‘bad’ and therefore in need of corrective measures?

      Posted by Brent Snavely | September 12, 2012, 9:50 am
      • I don’t know if the system can do it, but teachers, kids, and parents can value one another and create micro changes. Otherwise, I think the question becomes, “How do we launch a free shadow educational system of local groups freed to meet local kids’ needs?” The current system doesn’t have a way to imagine alternatives to itself, and that inability is complementary to its inability to admit its faults. People inside can do better, but I’m not sure the system can.


        Posted by Chad Sansing | September 13, 2012, 8:17 pm

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