I am more convinced than ever that the school system used in most of the world today — based on the old Prussian model — is holding children back from learning how to educated in a truly integrated way. And the obsession with technology is making schools worse, not better. If I had to set up a school (or just one classroom) today, I would ban technology and replace it with a very bright teacher with wide latitude to teach what the students needed to learn. Computers and other technology would be nowhere to be found, but there would be plenty of books. A smart and curious teacher who is trusted to open the eyes of the students would accomplish more than any pre-fab computer software or the ability to access information through an online search. Having computers and quick access to information actually makes learning more difficult, because it teaches children to be able to provide information without understanding context or connection. If students aren’t taught to be curious and then to make connections — and then to think about what they observe — it won’t matter how much information they have access to. Information is useless if you don’t know how to think or how to organize information, much less what to do with it. The right teacher would facilitate that far better than technology. We are handicapping children by sending them to well-meaning school programs which are easily outperformed by those bright kids using the “unschooling” model popularized by the late educator John Holt.
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