ERIC Number: ED356568
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
An Overview of the Problem of Relevance in Education.
Education has been in a perpetual state of reform seeking "far reaching changes in weary practices, outmoded assumptions, and long-assumed constraints." This approach must be examined to keep the same old problems from resurfacing and making reform efforts ineffective. Common suggestions for educational reform involve stricter standards, procedures, or accountability measures. But it is questionable that these measures are effective. Even changes in teacher training, experiences, personality, or attitude have been found to have a negligible effect on student learning. Education reform must follow the example of medical science and recognize that at the core of knowledge is an understanding of how biological systems function. Recent research on how the brain functions suggests that such knowledge would be helpful in sorting out relevant and irrelevant educational reform efforts. Two promising knowledge theories are the theories of "autonomy of knowledge" and "simplification by isolation." Autonomy of knowledge holds that knowledge has a separate existence outside the physical nervous system. Simplification by isolation says that complex knowledge structures can be broken down into manageable smaller pieces. Biofunctional theory accepts the proposition that nervous systems demand that learning be done within the context of whole experiences. Acknowledging this fact is important to identifying relevant and irrelevant educational practices. (Contains 24 references.) (JPT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Knoxville, TN, November 1992).