Dan Meyer is pushing a philosophy that we need to start giving students work that is worthy and requires thought. We need to start asking students to solve problems and find solutions, not solve for x.
I feel that the major issue with creating a sea change towards this type of instruction is mostly focused on precedent. Teachers already have books and exams that they are comfortable using and are easy to grade and this shift requires actual work from a lot of them. They need to critically examine the work of students to see if they were on the right track and give them good advise on where they should focus. This requires greater effort than simply checking off an answer key and giving a stock lesson from the book.
The second video deals with these same issues looking at how the pressures of instruction have crippled some instruction. When teachers are gauged by their ability to get students to pass a standardized exam it leads to a lessening of creativity and exploration in their work. Having their job security dependent on their ability to get students to memorize a specific list of skills has had an evolutionary effect on teaching. We have selectively focused on and created an educational system that is designed to punish instruction that can not be explicitly quantified as meeting standards listed in a passing guide.
Both of these videos do a good job of highlighting what good instruction should look like and how creative and open ended questions can engage students at a more fundamental level. We need to change education to better meet the needs of students and these videos give some excellent examples of where we can start.
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