This time from David Brooks of The New York Times.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Citing statistics showing that "most people vastly overestimate the extent to which more money would improve our lives," Brooks concludes that "Most schools and colleges spend too much time preparing students for careers and not enough preparing them to make social decisions."
This conclusion betrays two fallacies:
1. The don't-make-educational-recommendations-without-visiting-actual-classrooms fallacy, which journalists and professors (especially education professors) repeatedly fall for (see here, here, here, here, and here).
2. The just-because-it-would-be-nice-if-students-learned-it-doesn't-mean-that-schools-can-actually-teach-it fallacy.
If David Brooks were to spend more time in grade schools, he would see that many schools actually shortchange material that would prepare students for careers in favor of activities designed to improve social skills.
And if he were to think about how one would go about teaching kids not to "overestimate the extent to which more money would improve our lives," he might consider how hard this is to teach, and that this is one area where experiential learning may be the only route to true understanding.