Day 130 (of 183) review/thoughts on The end of average by @ltoddrose
Context matters – more than we may think or mean when we first think about it. And overall, when people aim for the average, they miss everything – from a cockpit designed for the average measurements of an army pilot (that for no one) to one-size-fits-all shirts which….don’t.
Great historical look at the Purpose of schools. Spoiler – if an educator read chapter two To educate? Kind of. To sort? Definitely – identify the ones that excel (are fast) from those that can’t (or won’t…) from the average in the middle who would make very good ‘average workers’.
- Marshmallow test – a famous self control test that makes a lot of sense http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ …sort of. Further research shows that the context matters – especially trust – can the participants trust the person promising the second marshmallow? Are they used to the conditions (aka promises) staying consistent or changing unpredictably. It has a big impact on the myth of ‘self control’.
Even moving from crawling to walking is explained as “every baby solves the problem of movement in her own unique way” with over 25 unique ‘common’ pathways that infants followed – with some even backtracking.
Thankfully Todd asksquestions around the concept raised that “faster = smarter/better”.
But have we created/maintained a system
that is unfair as it favours those that are fast and penalized those that need more of that valuable resource: time.
???? Lots of stops for thinking in this book
So…are speed and learning ability related? Is it a battle between quality vs timeliness? Does ‘fixed time evaluation’ have value?
(spoiler: equating learning speed with learning ability is irrefutably wrong)
And I appreciate the examplar of the Indian Zoho University that is project based and self-paced….with no grades but instead descriptive feedback…as the founder shared: placing a grade or a number on a human being is nonsense.”
Even better – three tips to move away from the pursuit of being at/above/below average:
– Grant credentials not diplomas
– Replace grades with competency
– Let students determine their educational pathway
We can do better and be more individualized. I want my coffee personalized (no cream) and I don’t want medical treatments that work for ‘the average person’ nor systems that work for most. Todd Rose leaves us with an intriguing challenge when we (education) choose to value individuality over conformity.
Great read & highly recommend it!