A Design for Alana: Creating the Next Generation of American Schools. Fastback 468
This booklet recounts an educator's musings on what education could be for his 2-year-old granddaughter. It describes the shift in pedagogical paradigms away from the diagnostic-prescriptive approach, with its focus on identification of problems and deficiencies, toward education design, with its concern for human potential and human differences. The text centers on four ideas: (1) children are learning what they are expected to learn; (2) diversity and the schools' approaches to diversity; (3) choice and the consequences that arise from choices; and (4) the importance of formulating a new design for learning. It examines some of the traditional assumptions of education, such as the idea that a school's central activity is teaching; the purpose of teaching is the acquisition of knowledge; students should be graded on how well they acquire knowledge; all students must acquire the same basic knowledge in the same amount of time, in the same sequence and combination, and in the same place; and the needs of all students can be accommodated under one roof. The booklet closes with a plea that educators design learning networks that incorporate certain premises, such as the notion that learning requires feedback on both the application and the acquisition of knowledge. (RJM)
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