Teach less, teach more, do both

As usual, the twitterverse led me to various places of discovery and thought in the field of education this weekend. On the one hand, I was exhorted by Grant Wiggins to back off, to teach less, in order to give students the autonomy they need to apply what we have taught them.


Then again, E.D. Hirsch Jr. tells me that I should not be spending valuable time on how-to-ism. Instead, increasing domain-specific knowledge and vocabulary is the best way to improve learning and increase equality.


Sigh. Both of these articles posit assertions that make complete sense to me, and I am quite certain we need to be doing both, not one or the other. Nor am I suggesting the articles are diametrically opposed.

Essentially, I don’t think that we should allow the pendulum to swing away from intense, domain specific study. In order to think, students must have something to think about. However, they also need time to apply what they have learned, and see how it informs areas of their world that we did not get around to ‘covering’.

Both are right. There is no time to waste at school. What we do matters. Each decision, each lesson, each student, each time.

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