ArduinoYou might have some prejudices about Iowa, and you might even have some prejudices about physics teachers, but please ignore them at this point. The ever-interesting Shawn Cornally has written a fascinating post with the title “These Misconceptions Are Keeping School in the 1960’s.”

Carnally’s bio includes these two sentences:

I love curing bacon, Arduino, Processing, string instruments, the Oxford comma, and getting students into the narrative arc of doing something.

I hate traditional grading, toy economies, and factory farming.

I’m not sure what factory farming has to do with anything, but this is Iowa, after all. And speaking of physics teachers, Cornally is also a math teacher, so that might explain something. If you don’t know what Arduino (hardware) and Processing (software) are all about, and you’ll find that the former is a tiny computer and the latter is a programming language.Processing Language

Anyhow, you’re probably champing at the bit (champing, not chomping) to find out which misconceptions are keeping schools in the past. You probably haven’t read Cornally’s post yet, so you might want some specifics to see whether you’re interested. Here’s the list:

  1. Colleges care what you cover in high school.
  2. High school should make college easy.
  3. Research paper type assignments trump strategic communication in English.
  4. Computer programming comes after basic math instruction.
  5. Economy of scale in student body size
  6. More class time = more learning.
  7. Teachers can differentiate well on their own.
  8. Grades motivate learning.
  9. Economics classes should be a semester long.
  10. You know what students need to know to be successful.

What a great list of misconceptions! (Sorry that #5 does not follow the otherwise parallel constructions.) I hope that the list whets your appetite to read the entire post.

When you do, you’ll discover references to Iowa Big. What’s that, you ask? Read about it, and you’ll find out. And do note some of the similarities to High Tech High, which I wrote out last month.

Now you need some specifics. Read the links, find out the specifics, and give them some thought!



Categories: Teaching & Learning