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ERIC Number: ED497012
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Rethinking Formalisms in Formal Education. Working Paper No. 2005-11
Nathan, Mitchell J.
Wisconsin Center for Education Research (NJ1)
In this paper, I explore two beliefs about learning and teaching that I argue are prevalent among educators. The first is the belief that subject matter expertise is sufficient for success in teaching. The second belief is that to learn a specific content area, one needs to begin with an understanding of the formal structure and abstract principles that underlie the conceptual framework of the content area before one can effectively apply that knowledge. Together, these beliefs exert pressures on formal education that may not be for the betterment of learning and teaching for all students. The foundations of these beliefs are discussed, as are implications for classroom instruction, curriculum design, and education policy. (Contains 1 table.) [This paper was supported by the Interagency Education Research Initiative.]
Wisconsin Center for Education Research. School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 West Johnson Street Suite 785, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-4200; Fax: 608-263-6448; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A