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Let’s read a book and talk about it, ok?

November 7, 2009 1 comment

Dr. Mike Schmoker, educational consultant, has just published another book:  RESULTS NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning.” Schmoker’s plea is in sharp contrast to those educators wanting to infuse all kinds of technology into classrooms.

Schmoker states right up front that the priorities should be what we teach and how we teach. “The simplicity of this approach could have a profound impact on providing a rich education, not for some, but for all students,” he writes.

On the idea of simplifying 21st century education, Schmoker comments that “history is not on the movement’s side. … The tendency to run after every ‘shiny new idea’ often leads to faddishness. … American schools still are not delivering a content-rich curriculum for all students.”

Success hinges on simplicity in priorities, Schmoker explained. And it doesn’t even have to be done perfectly, just reasonably well. “Students need to be able to read something, talk to each other about it, and write about it,” Schmoker stated. “This is mostly old stuff from the 19th and 20th centuries, not unique to the 21st century.”

How can a high-quality education be achieved by all students? “Get rid of the silly stuff in pursuit of some new fad,” Schmoker said. Instead, teach kids to read slowly, turn to one another to talk about it, and then write about it. Amazingly, Schmoker stated, only 25 percent of schools adhere to these seemingly mundane things.

Have you taken the time to read a good book lately?

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