Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An experiment in education

So, I had a new post all ready to go... but then I stumbled upon an education article in the New York Times this week that fascinated me - particularly this passage about teaching logic and critical thinking skills:

When I asked Bogin to explain Shchedrovitsky, he asked a question. “Does 2 + 2 = 4? No! Because two cats plus two sausages is what? Two cats. Two drops of water plus two drops of water? One drop of water.”

From there, the theories became more complex. In practice, though, the philosophy meant that Bogin delighted in barraging children with word problems and puzzles to force them to think broadly. It was the opposite of the rote memorization of the Soviet system.

At dinnertime, the kids taunted me with riddles. “Ten crows are sitting on a fence,” Arden announced. “A cat pounces and eats one crow. How many are left?” “Umm, nine,” I said, fearing a trap. “No, none!” she gleefully responded. “Do you really think that after one crow is eaten, the others are going to stick around?” 

I kind of want to move to Russia just to enroll Emmie in this school! Anyway, it's a fascinating read. Take a look at it.


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