One thing schools should do to boost students’ intellectual growth

This piece, by Marion Brady first appeared in the Washington Post’s “The Answer Sheet” blog.

One thing schools should do to boost students’ intellectual growth

(It’s probably not what you are thinking)

Washington Post “The Answer Sheet” 1/12/15

America’s schools aren’t going to significantly improve until a main reason for their flat performance is correctly diagnosed and addressed.

The problem isn’t teacher incompetence. Neither is it poor subject-matter standards, too-short school days or years, kids’ lack of grit, inadequate teacher training programs, failure to unleash market forces, union protection of bad teachers, insufficient academic rigor, or any of the other reasons currently being advanced.

Much that affects learner performance—poverty, disability, education of parents, local culture, and so on—can’t be fixed by education policy.  A fundamental performance- limiting problem that can be fixed in school but has never been adequately addressed is this: INFORMATION OVERLOAD.

The human brain is wonderful. Nobody yet knows the extent of its potential. But about one of the brain’s characteristics, there’s not the slightest doubt: IT DOES A POOR JOB OF STORING AND RETRIEVING WHAT THE TRADITIONAL CORE CURRICULUM GIVES IT—RANDOM, UNORGANIZED INFORMATION.

Every adult who has attended a typical secondary school knows that’s true, but the core is treated as if Moses had brought it down from Mt. Sinai along with…

You can read the full piece by clicking on the following link: http://www.marionbrady.com/articles/2015-WashingtonPost1-12.pdf

Marion Brady began his career as an educator in 1952 and has taught at every level from 6th grade through the university.  Brady has also been a county-level director of instruction, teacher educator, consultant to publishers, states, and foundations, contributor to academic journals, author of textbooks, professional books, and courses of study, newspaper columnist, and visitor to schools across America and abroad.  Read more of Marion Brady’s work at http://www.marionbrady.com/

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