Re: Speed, Technology, Progress LO16

Stever Robbins (
Thu, 9 Feb 1995 23:20:52 EST5EDT

Ivan Blanco wrote in msg LO16:
> I have been wondering about the Educational Systems' ability to learn! I
> am almost convinced that our learning institutions are not learning
> organziations themselves.

You obviously don't work at one, if you still have room to suspect
that academia might engage in learning. I'm absolutely astounded at
the total lack of learning that happens in academia. Coming from
industry, I've found academia far more resistant to new ideas than
companies whose livelihood actually depends on results. Last time I
surveyed [summer 1994], I was unable to find any universities which
used teaching/learning models which weren't primarily based on the
lecture/problem-set approach, despite 30 years' of learning theory
which suggests that is among the least efficient ways to learn.

How many classes at your local School of Education are taught via
lecture/problem set, with grading policies that result in a single
letter grade summarizing a student's semester-long performance?
[inadequate feedback, timed too late is useless for learning]

Part of my theory about this, which is totally hack- pop-
psychological, is that people spend 20 years conforming to an
organization's policies and politics to reach tenure. Once they
finally have the "freedom" to take risks (tenure), they're so
thoroughly indoctrinated into the norms of the institution that
their truly cutting-edge thinking centers mainly around their
specific content area.

- Stever

Stever Robbins
Accept no substitutes!
"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."