Thursday, May 12, 2016

Paul Ratner — Teaching Students Philosophy Will Improve Their Academic Performance, Shows Study

Move over STEM.
There are many attempts to improve student performance which result in a host of measures, ranging from misguided to inspired. Such efforts include not assigning students homework, recalibrating standardized tests to account for unfair background advantages, or subjecting students to the hard-to-fathom Common Core standards. But a recent endeavor in the UK found another solution which actually appeared to have worked - the students were taught philosophy!
A study published last year demonstrated that 9 to 10 year olds, who took part in a year-long series of philosophy-oriented lessons, showed significant improvement in scores over their peers in a control group. The study involved over 3000 children in 48 primary schools all around England. The kids who were taking philosophy classes improved their math and reading skills by about two months of additional progress compared to the students who didn't take the classes.…
The importance of liberal education being rediscovered?

Paul Ratner


Ryan Harris said...

Cumbersome political fights over education are endless and expensive. Harvard Medical School has a plan. Reducing the number of years required in school to master concepts would provide more years of productivity and leisure and would cost far less than a single political battle or new set of texts books for everyone. Compulsory gene therapy could become like taking prenatal vitamins.

Tom Hickey said...

This was done around the time I was working on my PhD. The normal track was five years and many people spend longer. Yale decided that three years was enough, and they pioneered a new time frame that has now taken hold.

Long ago in Europe, a person was awarded a doctorate in the field after one had completed one's studies and produced a "masterpiece" similar to the longstanding practice in the crafts and trades. That was in the form of a book that advanced the field. this tradition was taken over in the contemporary university system. It used to be that this took quite a while after one had completed one's studies. Now it is incorporated into the PhD program.

Similarly now in medicine, Nurse practitioners were introduced to function pretty much as general partitioners. Some local clinics in small towns in Iowa are staffed only with nurse practitioners, who then refer case that they are not qualified to handle. A new role of physician's assistant has also been instituted.

China had barefoot doctors that serviced the countryside. China also trained technicians for specific tasks and limited then to performing those tasks. The US Navy uses medical coremen on smaller ships and some have had to perform complicated medical procedures in extremis when patients could not be transferred.

Regarding education many educators have concluded that schools as they exist are toxic environments that are more damaging than supportive. I am one of these. Home schooling is increasing in the US as a result. The whole concept of education needs to be revisited.

Bob said...

How does Cuba produce its doctors?

Tom Hickey said...

How does Cuba produce its doctors?

Glad you asked.

Huffington Post
Cuba’s Health Care System: a Model for the World
Salim Lamrani, Doctor, Paris Sorbonne Paris IV University, Lecturer, University of La Réunion