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Correct principles

September 23, 2013 1 comment

I managed to catch CAP (community acquired pneumonia) this summer, and after several false dawns, I think I am finally seeing the end of it.

I changed my tag line (or whatever you call it) this evening to part of a quote by Joseph Smith. He said “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” Isn’t ¬†that what HE should be all about?

Teach them to read, teach them to communicate, teach them to synthesise, teach then to think… teach them correct principles.

Instead we teach them stuff, stuff and more stuff. I asked some of our MSc students, who come from far and wide, about their undergraduate experiences. I asked them about classes they had taken in their previous education, and how many of them required large amounts of memorisation. Every one of them reported that memorisation was the rule, with pulling ideas together, drawing connections, and producing something being rare.

These are not  poor students in any way. We are in the top 100 psychology departments in the world (latest league table) and draw students from some of the best schools in the world. It is still all about content.

well, I am not usually considered a conservative, but in this case, I think we should back up a bit and adopt some C19 wisdom, and teach them correct principles and let them learn the rest.

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