Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Structure of Compulsory Schooling Promotes Cheating

 

Source: Psychology Today, Oct 2012

Our system of compulsory (forced) schooling is almost perfectly designed to promote cheating.

Students are required to spend way more time than they wish doing work that they did not choose, that bores them, that seems purposeless to them. They are constantly told about the value of high grades. Grades are used as essentially the sole motivator. Everything is done for grades. Advancement through the system, and eventual freedom from it, depends upon grades.

Students become convinced that high grades and advancement to the next level are the be-all and end-all of their school work. By the time they are 11 or 12 years old, most are realistically cynical about the idea that school is fundamentally a place for learning. 

On anonymous questionnaires, as many as 98% of students admit to some form of cheating and roughly 70% percent admit to repeated acts of the most blatant forms of cheating, such as copying whole tests from other students or plagiarizing whole papers. 

One of the tragedies of our system of schooling is that it deflects students from discovering what they truly love and find worth doing for its own sake. Instead, it teaches them that life is a series of hoops that one must get through, by one means or another, and that success lies in others’ judgments rather than in real, self-satisfying accomplishments.

 

Bad Math: MIT Miscounts Its New B-School Students

Source: WSJ, Sep 2012

Normally, schools offer scholarships to entice students to enroll. This year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s business school handed them money to go away.

The Sloan School of Management’s full-time M.B.A. program, usually about 400 students, was oversubscribed by an unusually high number of students this year.

Tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year is $58,200, with total expenses—including books, housing and food—estimated at just under $89,000.

Creativity Surpasses Intelligence as a Predictor of Lifetime Achievement

Source: Psychology Today, Sep 2012

… the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking seems to be the best predictor of lifetime achievement that has yet been invented. It is a better predictor than IQ, high-school grades, or peer judgments of who will achieve the most.[6]

[6] See: Mark A. Runco, Garnet Millar, Selcuk Acar, & Bonnie Cramond (2010) Torrance tests of creative thinking as predictors of personal and public achievement: A fifty-year follow-up. Creativity Research Journal, 22, 361-368. Also: Kyung Hee Kim (2008). Meta-analysis of the relationship of creative achievement to both IQ and divergent thinking scores. Journal of Creative Behavior, 42, 106-130.

Take an online UPenn course to earn Course Credit with Uni. of Helsinki

Source: NPR, Sep 2012

Professor Michael Kearns teaches a popular class at the University of Pennsylvania called Networked Life. … once you’ve finished, you qualify for a certificate of completion that is already worth full course credit at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help …

ander and Taylor have long admired affirmative action’s original goals, but after many years of studying racial preferences, they have reached a controversial but undeniable conclusion: that preferences hurt underrepresented minorities far more than they help them. At the heart of affirmative action’s failure is a simple phenomenon called mismatch. Using dramatic new data and numerous interviews with affected former students and university officials of color, the authors show how racial preferences often put students in competition with far better-prepared classmates, dooming many to fall so far behind that they can never catch up. Mismatch largely explains why, even though black applicants are more likely to enter college than whites with similar backgrounds, they are far less likely to finish; why there are so few black and Hispanic professionals with science and engineering degrees and doctorates; why black law graduates fail bar exams at four times the rate of whites; and why universities accept relatively affluent minorities over working class and poor people of all races.

The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

In THE ONE WORLD SCHOOLHOUSE, Khan presents his radical vision for the future of education, as well as his own remarkable story, for the first time. In these pages, you will discover, among other things:

  • How both students and teachers are being bound by a broken top-down model invented in Prussia two centuries ago
  • Why technology will make classrooms more human and teachers more important
  • How and why we can afford to pay educators the same as other professionals
  • How we can bring creativity and true human interactivity back to learning
  • Why we should be very optimistic about the future of learning.

Parents and politicians routinely bemoan the state of our education system. Statistics suggest we’ve fallen behind the rest of the world in literacy, math, and sciences. With a shrewd reading of history, Khan explains how this crisis presented itself, and why a return to “mastery learning,” abandoned in the twentieth century and ingeniously revived by tools like the Khan Academy, could offer the best opportunity to level the playing field, and to give all of our children a world-class education now.

More than just a solution, THE ONE WORLD SCHOOLHOUSE serves as a call for free, universal, global education, and an explanation of how Khan’s simple yet revolutionary thinking can help achieve this inspiring goal.

MIT’s FREE Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Online Course

Source: EdX website, Oct 2012

ABOUT 6.00X

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

6.00x is an introduction to using computation to solve real problems. The course is aimed at students with little or no prior programming experience who have a desire (or at least a need) to understand computational approaches to problem solving. Some of the people taking the course will use it as a stepping stone to more advanced computer science courses, but for many, it will be their first and last computer science course.