Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Don't Get This Either

Matt Yglesias:

It's always helpful, I think, to step back from the question of education and just think about learning. Suppose you're curious about something. Like maybe articles about the recent banking crisis in Cyprus have made you curious about the island's history. The best first step, by far, is to go to the "History of Cyprus" Wikipedia page and read it. If you're still interested, maybe follow up with a book or two. Watching a person stand up and talk about Cyprus is pretty far down the list, whether you're watching the person live or on a video. It's true that if you want to learn how to tie a bowtie or to properly flip a Spanish tortilla, you may want to watch a video. The visual information is very helpful when you're talking about demonstrating a physical action. But to convey information? Reading is faster than listening, and buying a book—or checking one out from a library—has always been cheaper than paying college tuition, in part because when you go to college you still have to buy all these books.

Especially people who are excited about the Common Core should not be excited about the promise of students watching videos -- the entire premise of the CC is that reading complex texts independently is the most important thing!

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