Oct 192015

I first heard about David
Brooks’ article
criticizing Most
Likely to Succeed
from a Mom at school that told me it was
a rebuttal to the movie, and I should check it out.

I nodded, but did not really expect the article to change
my mind.

David Brooks is an all-terrain commentator which dispenses
platitudes and opinions on a wide range of topics, usually
with little depth or understanding. In my book, anyone that
supported and amplified the very fishy evidence for going to
war with Iraq has to go an extra mile to prove their worth –
and he was specially gross when it came to it.

Considering that the best part about David Brook’s writing
is that they often
prompt beautiful
take downs
from Matt Taibbi and that his columns have
given rise to a cottage industry of bloggers that routinely
point out
just how
wrong he is
, my expectations were low.

Anyways, I did read the article.

While the tone of the article is a general disagreement
with novel approaches to education, his prescription is bland
and generic: you need some basic facts before you can build
upon those facts and by doing this, you will become a wise

The question of course is just how many facts? Because it
is one thing to know basic facts about our world like the fact
that there are countries, and another one to memorize every
date and place of a historic event.

But you won’t find an answer to that on Brooks piece. If
there is a case to be made to continue our traditional
education and continue relying on tests to raise great kids,
you will not find it here.

The only thing that transpires from the article is that he
has not researched the subject – he is shooting from the hip.
An action necessitated by the need to fill eight hundred words
a short hour before lunch.

His contribution to the future of education brings as much
intellectual curiosity as washing the dishes.

I rather not shove useless information into our kids.
Instead we should fill their most previous years with joy and
passion, and give them the tools to plot their own destinies.
Raise curious, critical and confident kids.

Ones that when faced with a new problem opt for the more
rewarding in-depth problem solving, one that will have them
research, reach out to primary sources, and help us invent the future.

Hopefully we can change education and raise a happier,
kinder and better generation of humans. The road to get there
will be hard, and we need to empower the teachers and schools
that want to bring this change.

“Most Likely to Succeed”
represends Forward
, and helps us start this discussion, and David’s
opinions should be dismissed for what they are: a case of

Do not miss Ted
Dintersmith’s response
to the article
, my favorite part:

I agree with Brooks that some, perhaps even many, gain
knowledge and wisdom over time. We just don’t gain it in
school. It comes when we’re fully immersed in our careers,
when we do things, face setbacks, apply our learning, and
evolve and progress. But that almost always comes after our
formal education is over. I interview a LOT of recent college
graduates and I’m not finding lots of knowledge and
wisdom. Instead, I find lots of student debt, fear of failure,
and formulaic thinking. And what do I rarely see? Passion,
purpose, creativity, and audacity.

So, game on, David Brooks and others defending the 19th
Century model of education.

Miguel de Icaza: David Brooks, Op-Ed for All Trades, Master of None
Source: Planet Gnome