Interesting. Covers much of preschool through high school schooling in America. The chapter on standardized testing and reference to Measuring Up: WhaInteresting. Covers much of preschool through high school schooling in America. The chapter on standardized testing and reference to Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us towards the beginning points out the futility and pointlessness of testing, especially standardized testing. Oddly, most of the following chapters are focused on evaluating good schools vs less than good schools based on test results of students in the good schools without discussion of what is a good test that should our children's target.
Personally, I think the author of Weapons of Mass Instruction:16091685 has a more cohesive philosophical view on mass schooling in general. I'm glad I read Mass Instruction before reading this.
“Speed is irrelevant if you are going in the wrong direction.” –M. Gandhi
Yet I haven't come across a summary of what our children should be learning. Looking at the problems we see in society and providing training to help avoid those problems would seem to be a start. Math is great to a point, yet calculators can effortlessly do most of our calculators and errors are certainly less frequent than human calculation errors.
How many fail to: listen empathetically? (arguments) maintain long term relationships? (divorice) manage their finances? (debt slavery) control various impulses? (obesity, violence, substance abuse) identify meaning for ourself, and live a meaningful life? (mid life crisis, denial of/fear of death, regret)
Shouldn't school focus on helping parents/communities to develop happy, healthy, responsibile people?
Instead, "schooling" seems to create an insecure class we call consumers that depend on experts to tell them the right answer (in spite of the experts success record), doesn't even know how to take responsibility for their life. Even when the consumer is entrepreunarial, they dream of taking VC so that they can become an employee rather than owner of their own company.
We are moving into a phase of modernity marked by the lobbyist, the very, very limited liability corporation, the MBA, sucker problems, secularization (or rather reinvention of new sacred values like flags to replace altars), the tax man, fear of the boss, spending the weekend in interesting places and the workweek in a putatively less interesting one, the separation of ?work? and ?leisure? (though the two would look identical to someone from a wiser era), the retirement plan, argumentative intellectuals who would disagree with this definition of modernity, literal thinking, inductive inference, philosophy of science, the invention of social science, smooth surfaces, and egocentric architects. -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Outside of the major directional issue with the review of schools in each section, I did learn several things and took several notes.
* Campbell's law / Goodhart's law: "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." This is true for SAT scores, GDP numbers, Inflation rates, Unemployment rates. Anytime a number gets popularized to the point that people start taking action based on the number, people will manipulate the number for their own benefit. (it's easier to change the inflation report than to change actual inflation) * Singapore Math: Singaporean Ministry of Education's math teaching system based on fewer mathmatical concepts covered in greater detail. Under the Singapore system, math instuction progresses in a logical path from simple to more compex. Singapore Math is a trend in US education. * Lesson Plan Study: The Japanese manufacturing "Kaizen" (consistent improvement over time) model applied to the lesson plan for each class. Instead of a teacher taking questioning of their instruction as a theat, questioning is a part of constantly improving the plan, looking for ways to make the progression between ideas smoother, more logical. Like continually editing a movie or a book.
Oddly, I didn't see any reference to the Kahn Academy model of reviewing lecture videos in the evening and having teachers at the school during the day to help children with their questions. If the Lesson Plan Study model does have value, then there is no reason to have 10,000 teachers repeating the same plan. Simply have the very best teacher shoot a video, and all of the other teachers can focus on answering and helping with individual students....more
I only finished the first 20% of this, but I had already read several other books about the middle east and religious developments in that area from 4I only finished the first 20% of this, but I had already read several other books about the middle east and religious developments in that area from 4000-2000 years ago. Another goodreads reviewer perfectly summed up my thoughts by saying the book could be retitled:
A Chronological Recitation of The History of the Abrahamic Religions, With Multitudinous Minutiae Relating To Christianity and Judaism, With Perhaps An Eventual Arrival At the Religion Mentioned in the Title (But Not Guaranteed).
If you haven't read any other books about early Judaism or early Christianity, this may be an interesting read. If you are familiar with these topics and primarily interested in more information about the history of the Muslim faith as promised by the title, then you'll need to keep looking.
Unfortunately I haven't found a fast paced, broad, accessible review of the Muslim faith for the casual reader that I can recommend....more