Here’s your Friday moment of EduZen to think about over the weekend. As always, would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading this week.
Alfred North Whitehead (1916):
The solution which I am urging is to eradicate the fatal disconnection of subjects which kills the vitality of our modern curriculum. There is only one subject-matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations. Instead of this single unity, we offer children—Algebra, from which nothing follows; Geometry, from which nothing follows; Science, from which nothing follows; History, from which nothing follows; a Couple of Languages, never mastered; and lastly, most dreary of all, Literature, represented by plays of Shakespeare, with philological notes and short analyses of plot and character to be in substance committed to memory. Can such a list be said to represent Life, as it is known in the midst of living it? The best that can be said of it is, that it is a rapid table of contents which a deity might run over in his mind while he was thinking of creating a world, and has not yet determined how to put it together.
Rich Ten Eyck says
Interesting comment from barely 20 years after the Committe of Ten made recommendations for school structure and content irganization which remain largely unchallenged a hundred years after the quote you share here. We continue to devote time and resources to the preservation of school and schooling at the expense of learning
Tim McClung says
Probably the biggest proponent of Alfred North Whitehead’s sentiments is Marion Brady, an educator who is devoted to the “connection” of subjects and “Reality- Based Learning”, http://www.marionbrady.com
Ashley Augustin says
This is an interesting comment! I do agree that there is a disconnection with subjects, but I also think that there is also a lack of life skills. I think it is extremely important that schools discuss/teach how to form positive, healthy relationships, how to be an effective leader or contributor, and make healthy life-style choices.
Anthony Merola says
This idea really made me think about many things this weekend! We go to school to learn these subjects and memorize concepts, but does it really have an impact in our daily lives? I agree with the ones that said that there is a disconnect between subjects and how to apply it to the real world. I think that the missing piece is making what we learn more authentic. It is not just about the subjects and the knowledge. It is also about applying what we learn into our daily lives.