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Education Program Working Group, 2/6/2012

Students in the Education Program Working Group played The 5 Whys game from Gamestorming, page 141. In this game, players agree on a specific proposition. Each player gets 5 Post-it notes. They use the first Post-it to state why the proposition is true. They then use Post-it note 2 to say why the first answer is true, and so on until all five notes are used. Players post their notes from one to five in a vertical column. The proposition and the threads are presented below.

PROPOSITION: The American system of education is lacking.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


No hands-on learning because it's industrialized easy answers, regurgitative teaching too many limitations no power from teachers in curriculum lack of quality teachers not stimulating creativity Focus on what education is standardized testing classes, what we learn proper preparation of high school students for college too many students per teacher


We are trying to standardize everyone because they are focused on making money students are categorized by test scores teach to standardized tests control by reg. test not enough money to hire teachers too focused on testing now Diverted from how students actually learn cheap doable way of testing all children in the country the same way standardization of learning because first year college students experience culture shock when exposed to the university too few teachers, all students in public school


To obtain an easy way to measure overall learning because Americans tend to be materially focused test scores become ways of clearly ranking easier to perceive and manipulate score results when lessons limited because each student should be at current learning levels limited funding from government forgetting evolution Government dictates detail how education is measured government is in charge of all education; they want a way to show whether children are learning easy to compare students because they do not have the skills or experience needed to succeed in college teachers underpaid


To know if students are being taught pertinent information pop culture ranking determines what opportunities students will have (scholarships, schools) % are used to convince authorities and public of success or failure people are supposed to be at the same intellectual levels at a certain age too many people getting an education in teaching to hire and pay all of them don't think it's important Measurement of learning end point misses the way students learn government is in charge of all learning because they want to control what teachers teach educate the masses because high schools do not cover college skills adequately enough for students to succeed government money lacking


To make sure that they are properly prepared for higher education lack of culture & community cohesiveness because IQ and potential must be quantitatively ranked people like neat and orderly data to rationalize and summarize Not all college students have same aptitude People trying to make a difference on lives or trying to raise level of education too impressed with novelty and technology Learning occurs in different ways in different students; this is lost looking only at the endpoint government has an agenda which they want citizens to be programmed for; they don't care about education, only conformity increasing number of students because these skills are not required for a student to graduate everyone can have education

In the discussion that followed, Standardized Testing was seen to be widely regarded as an underlying flaw in the system. Several people pointed out that there were Good Intentions as well as Bad Intentions behind standardized testing. Several people pointed out that People Are Different with respect to Community and Culture, as well as Learning and Cognitive styles. One person pointed out that the proposition and the answers neglected any role that Parents have in education.

Eight of the twelve threads (1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10) mention standardization or standardized testing, usually in a negative way.