Friday, June 17, 2011

How Dare David Perkins!

Here I am, posting all year on an education blog called To Keep Things Whole—and one of the hot education books on people’s summer reading lists is David Perkins’ Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education. Totally opposing my thoughts, is he?
I’m faking the outrage, of course. (Should I have used mockery tags?) I’m actually quite a fan of Perkins, and I loved his book Smart Schools: Better Thinking and Learning for Every Child. I suspect I’ll find many more similarities than differences in our most recent writing. Plus, as co-director of Harvard University’s Project Zero, where some of the real cutting edge thinking is going on, he certainly has earned the right to call his book whatever the heck he pleases. Perkins is one of the educational thinkers to whom people should pay attention. All those reasons are why I’ve just downloaded Making Learning Whole to my Kindle.
Still, the difference in title raises an essential point. Perkins’ title suggests that we have to take discrete parts and unify them.  My contention is that learning begins as a naturally holistic activity, only that too much of education breaks it up in convenient but artificial fashion.
I’m going to begin reading it today, and I’ll report back soon. In the meantime, your thoughts?

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