Are Your Kids Hedgehogs Or Foxes?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 09:40 AM EDT
Several months ago, Sharon Begley of Newsweek magazine wrote a quick article describing the inaccurate predictions and comments of online and cable political pundits. Begley discusses the reason why so many â€œexpertsâ€ are wrong so often and cites research by Phillip Tetlock of Standford University:
But it turns out that prediction accuracy, the ability to be â€œright,â€ has nothing to do with any of Tetlockâ€™s first ideas. Being â€œrightâ€ has everything to do with whether the expert is a hedgehog or a fox.
Basically, what matters most is not what the pundits think but how they think. Begley goes on to describe this process in more descriptive language:
Yeah . . . so?
I guess what I see is that we as educators do a great job of preparing our kids to be hedgehogs â€“ prepping for tests, memorizing textbooks and limiting choices. And I understand this is a gross simplification but one thing leads to another. If we are training kids to be great hedgehogs, then perhaps we shouldnâ€™t be surprised when â€œexpertsâ€ canâ€™t get things right.
So more problem-based learning, more performance tasks, more appropriate video games and simulations, basically more â€œacademic discomfortâ€ for our kids is needed.
Our job as teachers becomes a bit clearer perhaps when we know our job is to develop foxes, not just hedgehogs.
This article originally appeared on History Tech.