stop deliberate programming

Stephen Downes on fixing 21st Century learning:

First, it isn’t impossible to teach people facts. Quite the opposite is the case – we understand, and can prove (and have proved, over and over) that we can teach facts very simply and easily, through repetition, rote, memorization, practice examples, worked examples, and more.

Second, it isn’t wrong to teach facts. Or (perhaps more accurately) to learn facts. Having an easy memory recall of a body of facts will serve a person well in life.

Third, we need facts to do stuff. We need to know about psychology, about Freud and Jung and maybe Erikson and Arens, in order to do the job. We need to know about navigation and aerodynamics and where the brake lever is in order to fly an airplane.

But do we need these specific facts?

When you teach children facts as facts, and when you do it through a process of study and drill, it doesn’t occur to children to question whether or not those facts are true, or appropriate, or moral, or legal, or anything else.

We know now – and, indeed, have probably always known – that an education based strictly and solely in facts is insufficient.