ClassCast Podcast Ep.059 features host Ryan Tibbens exploring the concept of "learning loss," how it's being applied during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why most of these discussions are biased, flawed, and misleading. If you pay attention to education-related news, then you know that politicians, state education boards, testing companies, university researchers, school choice advocates, and even some local school leaders have been ranting about "learning loss" for months. But you may not have considered how narrow and limited that discussion has been. Are students really 3-6 months behind? Are the disparities between racial and socioeconomic groups insurmountable? If we really want to promote top-quality education for all citizens, if we really want to create life-long learners, then shouldn't we all be concerned?
The sky is not falling. Learning hasn't stopped. "Learning loss" is a talking point for those hoping to capitalize on the pandemic, but the situation isn't nearly as dire as they would have you believe. Tibbens takes the long view and points out why "learning loss" isn't going to cripple a generation. Don't panic (and carry a towel).
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3/9/2021 03:23:12 pm
Great episode! I loved your nuanced analysis on how recent observations on learning loss are misleading. Citing test scores as a measure for how "behind" a child is in education exposes the flawed definition of being on track in life, which you hit on very well.
3/10/2021 11:57:16 pm
Srisha, thanks for listening to the episode and sharing your thoughts. While I agree with many of your ideas about autonomy, desire, and self-selected pursuits, I disagree that these are required for learning.
3/11/2021 11:49:43 am
There's a tension here between what is "required" (coerced, maybe?) and what is voluntary. While Srisha doesn't list specific interests or areas of study that should/could be explored and learned passionately and voluntarily, Ryan does offer what seems to be a contrast to what they could be: "...doing taxes, choosing insurance, fixing a clogged sink, or observing all traffic laws."
3/11/2021 01:31:37 pm
"While I agree with many of your ideas about autonomy, desire, and self-selected pursuits, I disagree that these are required for learning."
3/22/2021 10:11:55 pm
Good question. It's hard to say. My guess is that those who learned by choice will forget in much the same way, just slower. Use it or lose it. I know many people who were mathematically inclined throughout school and who now work in finance or accounting; they forget all the same stuff I do, except for the parts they use. I would guess they could re-learn it faster than I could, largely due to the motivation and preference for that subject.
3/23/2021 09:59:07 pm
"If tax-payers want to require certain skills or piece of content knowledge in exchange for a public education, that's not unreasonable. And if students want more freedom in what they study and how they specialize, that's not unreasonable either."
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