Information Age Education Blog
I’ll bet you think that the R in the title of this IAE Blog entry stands for Resolution. Wrong! It is the 4th R in the list Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic, and Reasoning (computational thinking).
The Fourth R is the title of my newest free (short) book. I strongly believe that the 4th R is now fully as important as each of the first three Rs. My book presents arguments for and “how to” suggestions for fully integrating the 4th R into the PreK-12 curriculum. Like the first three Rs, the study and use of the 4th R should be occurring throughout the school day, as well as outside of school.
When reading, writing, and arithmetic were invented more than 5,000 years ago, the available technology was modest. However, chiseling on stone and writing on clay tablets that then were dried in the sun or baked in an oven worked, and some of these writings have survived for many thousands of years.
Ink, lead (graphite) pencils, and then typewriters were all great improvements in usability. Computers have brought us video screen displays, graphics, video, touch screens, voice I/O, and routine access to the Web, now the world’s largest library. Thus, one would certainly expect that students would benefit from these vastly improved aids to written communication.
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” (Henry Louis “H.L.” Mencken; American journalist, essayist, editor; 1880-1956.)
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” (Albert Einstein; German-born theoretical physicist and 1921 Nobel Prize winner; 1879-1955.)
I have been reading about Finland’s public school system for a number of years. Year after year, it is ranked near the top of school systems throughout the world (Schwab, 2016). Many people have asked, “Why?” and what can we (educational leaders in my country) do in order to emulate or exceed this success. See the video, Finland’s Formula for School Success (Edutopia, 1/25/2012).
If it were easy to emulate Finland’s successful approach, I believe it would have been done in many different school districts and school systems. My conclusion is that we can learn from Finland’s school system, but that its core reasons for success are not easily replicated.