Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bill Gates on Education: Naive?

The video of Bill Gates at the TED conference has been hugely lauded and virally popular (personally, I found his releasing of mosquitos into the audience incredibly creepy; I guess that's the scary place where Bill goes when compelled to be "edgy"). I asked Deven Black, who teaches special education in the South Bronx, for his reaction to Gates' education ideas:
"Gates is tied to the old-fashioned idea that classrooms are teacher-centered; that effective teachers lecture and those lectures can be packaged and delivered to students who lack effective teachers.

"I'd like to see him visit an inner-city school, like the one I teach in. Good teachers don't lecture; there's not a student around today who'd sit still for that! Good teachers teach, in a way Gates would recognize, for perhaps ten minutes of a 45 minute period. The rest of the time the teacher is a guide and resource as students build knowledge by acting as investigators, creators, instructors, examiners and experimenters. That's the sort of thing you can't put in a bottle, on a dvd, or on a microchip."

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