|School (Photo credit: The Library of Virginia)|
"Currently, I have a directed reading course on neuroplasticity & learning. The change in an adolescent’s brain is immense, with large portions of the executive function and the prefrontal cortex maturing. There is also a significant proliferation in dendrites & synapses that causes the adolescent cortex to thicken, before it goes through 6 or so years of intense pruning. It’s vitally important that our students be deeply engaged cognitively during this period. The brain works on a use it or lose it principle. So you can see why a boring environment having a more powerful thinning effect on the brain cortex than an exciting or enriched environment has on cortex thickening is a big deal. Boring classroom environments might actually be harming our students ability to think."
Life in our mass institutions dumbs us all down. We insist on trying to
Increasing the low-level democracy within our mass institutions is critical: families and kids need far more control, a greater ability to shape their learning and social lives in ways unique to their situation. Granular control by families is the opposite of standardization: it works by having decisions made by those closest to the child. This would strengthen families and also communities. Mass institutions raising and training kids for an ever-increasing length of time are very new and not likely to survive in their current form.
- homeschooling is the real legacy of holt, kohl, et al and why compulsory attendance laws are limiting our ability to change schools
- voluntary attendance
- real school reform (and a changing view of attendance)
- side effects of the literacy factory model
- make public schools truly public
- what's wrong with the schools?