ASCD exec director, Gene Carter’s, disappointing start on GOOD

What Carter says here is that at the very moment when we have an opportunity to reshape education, the way Dewey did in his day, we should carry on as usual. To say that the purpose of schools is to prepare students to compete in a global environment is a rather narrow conception of education–necessary but hardly sufficient. Dickens’ Gradgrind had more or less the same view. Whether we’re in the 19th C or the 21st C, it reduces humans to mere economic beings. FIBO’s quotations from Dewey in the comments section, especially Dewey’s point that preparation for a remote future renders the work of teacher and pupil mechanical and slavish, are spot on. A more fitting aim for us would be, as Martha Nussbaum says, to cultivate our humanity.

The whole child/teacher approach Carter advocates is incontestable, because would says students and teachers shouldn’t be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. But for the same reason, it is complacent.

No GOOD can come of this, the same thing we’ve been hearing in education for the past 150 years.

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