Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shame on you Steven Levitt

Honestly, when it comes to providing our children with an authentic learning environment where they can develop an intrinsic love for learning, should we ever ask how we can do so "cheaply" and "quickly"?

If there was anything we should invest wholly and entirely in while taking our time doing so, I would hope it would be the education of our loved ones.

Shame on you Freakonomics author Steven Levitt.





  1. It’s amazing (and worrying) how much of this stuff there is out there eh? Yesterday I was sent an enraging image from a young schoolchild’s notebook which, if I could attach images to comments, I’d post to you. I’ve written about it here

  2. It is as if they view education as a product and children as, I won't even say it. As a teacher and a person who cares about humanity to turn children into materialistic consumers at any level, but especially the school level is a crime against the universe.

  3. not sure how promoting materialism creates independent, life long learners and good citizens

  4. I've been listening to Freakonomics the past week while commuting. While I find the perspective and insight fascinating, I truly detested Levitt's handling of the "cheating teachers" studies in Chicago.

    His perspective on education is obvious when he talks about "bad teachers" and "good teachers" (as defined by standardized test scores). The disdain with which he talks about the teachers supposedly proven to be cheating the tests is also disappointing.

    No debate as to the validity, reliability or value of standardized tests is mentioned. No concern about cohort effects is addressed.

    Yet, why should we expect an economist to understand the full scope of the issue?

    We shouldn't.

    And yet, considering Levitt's premise of using data and statistics to tell the story behind the story (I found his analysis of cheating in sumo wresting fascinating) I think he missed the true opportunity here.

    The story he should be telling is the correlation between family income and test scores and what this tells us about the state of our educational system and the future of our nation.

  5. Hi again,

    Here's a link to something really inspiring though:
    Eight-year-old children publish bee study in Royal Society journal. The video is especially uplifting.

    Nice to see there's also really good stuff happening in education as well as all the awful stuff.

  6. J Hamlynn - thanks for sharing the link


    Sound economics would to be invest in kids so that their learning becomes part of them and they can take their learning further and not that they forget everything they learned or as Yong Zhao says - high tests scores , low ability
    more thoughts here


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