User:ASnieckus/Learning & education related books

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When I get a chance, I'll write some sort of preamble here. Wondering what list order to use.

Turning Learning Right Side Up

Title: Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track

Author(s): Russell L. Ackoff, Daniel Greenberg

What Does it Mean to be Well Educated?

Title: What Does it Mean to be Well Educated?: And More Essays on Standards, Grading, and Other Follies

Author(s): Alfie Kohn

Publisher: Beacon Press, Boston

ISBN: 978-0807032671, Pages: 208, Year: 2004


  • In the title essay, Kohn suggests that one defintion of well-educated could be encompassed in Deborah Meier's five "habits of mind" (p. 9):
...the value of raising questions about evidence ("How do we know what we know?"), point of view ("Whose perspective does this represent?"), connections ("How is this related to that?"), supposition ("How might things have been otherwise?"), and relevance ("Why is this important?").
  • In "The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement", Kohn discusses five consequences likely to arise from educational methods steeped in standards and achievement (p. 31-35):
  1. Students come to regard learning as a chore.
  2. Students try to avoid challenging tasks.
  3. Students tend to think less deeply.
  4. Students may fall apart when they fail.
  5. Students value ability more than effort.
Kohn has written these to suggest that these outcomes apply to all students. I don't know. I do know many students who seem to work harder at manipulating the system and grade-grubbing than actual learning. If even one student experiences any one of these, the damage is done. We need a more flexible system that values all learning, not just subjects and topics that others have deemed as the "valued" content.
  • In "The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation", Kohn takes issue with the common belief that grades motivate, citing research that concludes (p. 103):
Students who are given grades, or for whom grades are made particularly salient, tend to display less interest in what they are doing, fare worse on meaningful measures of learning, and avoid more challenging tasks when given the opportunity--as compared with those in a nongraded comparison group.
I can see the argument on both sides. I wonder if there's a middle ground.