Thinking About Educational Reform

Everybody has opinions on politics and religion. These days, everybody also has an opinion on the school system. In particular, everybody seems to have their own pet solution for how to fix the system, solutions which run the gamut from reinstituting corporal punishment to eliminating the schools altogether. How are we to figure out which ideas make sense?

The first question to ask about a proposal for reform is whether it meshes with what we know about the process of learning. It may be important later to ask questions like "What's it cost?" and "Is it practical?" but if a reform plan violates basic learning theory, there is no real need to pursue it further.

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