Standardized Expectations vs. Creative Thinking

March 19, 2007 1 min read

Nel Noddings, a professor of education, emerita, at Stanford University, and the author of Critical Lessons: What Our Schools Should Teach, argues that providing a complete structure of what is to be learned and a detailed list of outcomes expected of all students results in quick, shallow learning and swift forgetting.

Students do not come to schools as standard raw material, she writes, and schools should not expect to produce standard academic products. Education requires initiative and independent thinking, she adds, not the tedious following of orders that she sees in today’s schools.

What do you think? Does the current approach to school reform favor the regurgitation of random facts over the development of critical and creative thinking?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.