Random Thoughts

School of thought or School of fact?

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Yesterday I spent the day in 9th grade Asian History classes recording conversations that we are sharing with a 12th grade Asian History class in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve set up a Google Site (more to play with then anything) as a way to share files back and forth. You can see listen to and see the questions from both classes on the web site here.

While recording the E blocks discussion we started talking about school and some of our students who have been to public schools in Korea and here in China had some really interesting things to say comparing the Korean system with the China system and their now American system of education.

I pushed the kids in the conversation to really compare and contrast the systems and then tell me which one they preferred.

The answer….both

As we discussed one student said “The difference is the Korean system focuses on facts, but here we focus on thought.”

Now that’s interesting……

What are our schools today? I think it’s fantastic that our students see the American system as being one that fosters thought over fact.

The students talked about in the Korean and Chinese system that you really don’t have to do your homework because everything is based on the test.

“You can flunk all your homework and ace the test and you’ll still pass.”

How far away are American schools from this?

The most interesting part for me was listening to the students talking about liking both the school of thought and the school of fact.

“Sometimes I like to just open up my book and just memorize stuff.”
“There are some things you just need to know.”

Interesting…..head over and have a listen….the quality isn’t the best as we just used a built in computer mic but feel free to use these in your class and see how your students react.

Personally in the 21st Century I think it’s the school of thought that’s going to take you places as a global citizen. Facts are changing to quickly to memorize them for a test.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.

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