Bill MacKenty

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The real problem with American public education?

Posted in Teaching Diary on 09 - August 2006 at 12:05 AM (17 years ago). 268 views.

As many of my faithful readers know (all four of you), I am very interested in the role of games in education.  And while I don’t consider games to be the panacea for all our ills in education, I do think they can really push us in the right direction.

After reading and digesting The World is Flat, my wife and I started talking about education.  She is European and came from a very different educational background.  As we were talking about what’s wrong with American education, and American competitiveness, we tossed around some ideas, and came up with the following questions:

* Maybe our students just aren’t working hard enough?
* Maybe parents don’t make education a high-enough priority?
* Perhaps we aren’t doing the right kind of work in school (like focusing on basic skills instead of innovative thinking)?
* Maybe we are doing pretty good, and the media is tainting our perceptions with yellow-journalism.

I’m not saying our kids aren’t capable of working hard enough, but as I think about American shrinking dominance in the world (which I think is happening) I look back on our educational system, and wonder how we can do it better.

When I was living in China, I noted the kids weren’t more or less smarter than any other kid - they just worked much much harder than students I was used to working with.

I write this as a question, looking for a response and any comments.