What I’ve Been Reading

Tim Stahmer’s blog post, It’s Not Pearson’s Fault, led me to the Forbes profile of the education giant. As Tim noted, it was worth the read. Two statements from Pearson executives stood out for me. In the very first paragraph, we see how difficult it is to pin down educational concepts. Jennifer Rheinfold writes of Pearson’s goals: “The goal is not merely to build a more successful and sustainable business—an imperative as Pearson’s traditional print operations shrivel—but also to improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world.” But the quote that follows from CEO John Fallon shows an interesting take on improving lives when he comments, ““What we’re trying to do is the same thing—to help improve learning outcomes.” Which translates to test scores. 

Sir Michael Barber, Pearson’s chief education advisor, wrote a report on Pakistan in which he refers to his education philosophy–standards and accountability–as “deliverology.” The image of education invoked by this word is a traditional, teacher- and curriculum-centered practice where students are the recipients rather than the participants.

The Man With 26 Million Students refers to Zach Sims, the founder of Codeacademy. Coding is the foreign language of our era. Fluency allows you greater creativity as you have more control over the development environment. But programming is more than that: it has a logic and syntax that requires critical thinking and deeper learning is often experienced through failure rather than success as Tom Woodward suggests in his post, Rookie Javascript Mistakes.  I’ve been playing around with the Kano I bought and going through the challenges for students that help them grasp programming concepts. I “learned” to program the way Tom did, by thinking about what I wanted to accomplish and finding bits of code that allowed me to do that.  Working through tutorials are helping solidify my understanding. After I finish this post, I’m going to try out this weekend’s pizza challenge.

#28daysofwriting from Oliver Quinlan describes Tom Barrett’s project to blog 28 minutes for the next 28 days. I’m in and hoping that the commitment, one I’ve tried before, will indeed kickstart this blog. I’ve signed on officially and this is my first post.



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