Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Passive vs Active Education
By Barbara Bray    January 21, 2010 -- 06:43 PM

Today's schools are not much different than schools in the early 1900s. Most schools in the US continue to have a 180 day schedule with almost 3 months off in the summer. Schools are open about 6 hours a day. Teachers usually work isolated in their classrooms behind closed doors. Schools were designed to complement our factory model. We needed factory workers who would follow orders and not think on their own. Anyway, that's what we got: a passive education. A few of us (including me) didn't fit in this model very well. I tried but found that I wanted to go in a different direction or had a better idea or wanted to hear from some of my classmates. Forget it! I'm just a troublemaker. Right? Remember all of the class clowns?

I guess you can say I'm more of a Constructionist where students are more responsible for their learning. Just think of what your children might ask on a nature walk: "Why are their acorns?" "Why is the sky blue?" Great teaching moments! I think of my own children. Both are artists and have their own businesses. I was brought up to never draw within the lines so passed this on to my children. When they went to school, they worked really hard to fit in but it wasn't easy. Sit straight at a desk in rows and only raise your hand when asked.

“We can classify education into two main categories: passive education relying primarily on memory, and active education relying on intelligent understanding and discovery. Our real problem is what is the goal of education? Are we forming children who are only capable of learning what is already known? Or should we try to develop creative and innovative minds capable of discovery from the preschool age on through life?”   Jean Piaget

Categories: "Piaget" "Active Education" "Constructionism" "Discovery" "Questions"

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Comments: Add New Comments
By Cheri      July 26, 2010 -- 06:33 PM
This is myfavorite quote of all time. Thank you for this link, I used it in my Humanities 410 paper.

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