ERIC Number: ED305891
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: 0
Television and the Schools--But Not What You Think.
Barzun, Jacques; Lynn, David H., Ed.
Basic Education: Issues, Answers & Facts, v3 n1 Fall 1987
The effect of television on children is in part a reflection of the effect of current schooling practices, so that the simplicity of television is a reflection of the discontinuity and incoherence of modern schooling practices. This state of affairs in schooling is due to several factors: (1) efforts to make schooling less stuffy and mechanical and more like life; (2) science as a cultural force, and particularly the influence of child psychology; (3) science as constant innovation or a collection of new methods, new research, and new fads, and in particular, explicit psychology and an emphasis on testing and measurement; and (4) a discontinuity in curriculum, including too many disparate subjects of study. One particular example is the current emphasis on the teaching of critical thinking, which is not itself a subject. Instead, schooling must be seen as the removal of ignorance without killing curiosity, and a new effort must be made to define a school subject. It is often forgotten that a school subject must be teachable. These subjects must then be given some unity, with a permanent aim to be the increasing of students' attention spans. As William James once noted, schoolwork is hard, and there is no way to make it easy and "natural." School work must be restored so as to recapture minds, with teachers teaching rather than innovating and distracting. (EW)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Basic Education, Washington, DC.