Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holding it in

Me, writing in 2010:

I cringe a little when I hear students refer to college work as a matter of — dire phrase — “retaining information.” Pick a field, any field, and think of people who are competent in it: are they “retaining information”? No: they know stuff. They understand the contexts in which “information” may be meaningful and are thus able to draw relevant conclusions and solve problems.
I heard the dire phrase again yesterday, and it occurred to me: “retaining information” sounds like a grim successor to toilet training. Holding it in, whatever it is, as long as the teacher requires — yipes.

comments: 1

Daughter Number Three said...

And standardized tests as a way of organizing education reward retaining information, of course, not drawing conclusions and solving problems.