"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Gates Civ 101: The Antiseptic History MOOC Comes to High School

Some reporters for the New York Times pretend to be stupid enough to believe Bill Gates is out to simply make his favorite history course available to every high school student in America.  The bigger assumption by the New York Times is that the American people are as stupid as their "reporter" pretends to be.

Actually, the Times didn't choose a real reporter but, rather, a CNBC Wall Street cheerleader who makes his living telling television viewers what hedge fund CEOs want them to hear about investing.

A TV financial analyst couldn't be a better pick for this 5,000 word story that introduces the world to the Gates undercover operation to devise a simple solution to the biggest disagreement to have not yet emerged about the Common Core: the proper content for Social Studies.

The Gates solution is technocratic, autocratic, and self-serving, which are the three characteristics that all of his solutions must have to be approved by Bill.  Big History will be the first big MOOC made for high school, and it will have the bigger advantage of eliminating the need for all that overly-democratic exercise of deciding the content for American history or World History courses.  It was that disagreement during the 90s that made it obvious that there is no One Inclusive Version of American history, thus killing the national curriculum efforts during the Clinton days.

Gates wants to sidestep all that Core-killing controversy by making his course the one that all the new Pearson tests will be built around for every high school in America.  No doubt Gates drones have other social studies courses in the works, all of which will be cleaner, no doubt, than a Microsoft chip lab.  None of that unsanitary disagreement about divisive issues, and nothing to stand in the way of eliminating whole departments of teaching along the way.

Along with Big Antiseptic History for Dummies, we get some Science for Dummies, too, that carefully keeps the First Cause argument alive, as you can see in the clip below.

1 comment:

  1. I said - Once again we see how Bill Gates with his infatuation with data and analysis can destroy any good ideas in education. As the Linda Darling Hammond said about the high stakes testing , common core and accountability policies that turn teaching into test prep , that tests measure what matters least in learning. - but your insights are great