So here-s – another – thing I don’t know about.
How much of education is teaching stuff and how much is simply corralling the blighters as they age?
Or, to be more precise.
So, teaching a 5 year old basic numbers is a time consuming task. Lots of repetition and so on.
Teaching a 16 year old would, I imagine, be easier. The concepts are more likely to be grasped, rote learning would be reduced. I think.
I’m also aware that some things rather can’t be taught later. Languages to true fluency tend to have to start with young brains, going back later doesn’t quite cut it.
So, leaving aside that “later doesn’t work” point and to stick with the first.
What ends up being the question is how much of the education system is trying to jam in stuff as soon as possible – stuff that could be learned more easily later – and how much of it is actually necessary to learn right now?
In one sense the point is obvious. Any of us could go do a GCSE in a few weeks couple of months and yet this takes 15 year olds 2 years. Some of that is experience of course but that’s also part of the effect I think. It’s easier to learn stuff with a more developed brain. Umm, maybe.
The implication of this is about the missed year of schooling just now. How much does this actually matter? If education is largely waiting until brains have developed enough to learn the stuff easily then missing a period doesn’t particularly matter. It can be picked up easily enough as an older person.
On the other hand, if everything has to be taught and taught and taught then missing some few months will delay completion by that same few months.
My assumption is that both effects are in play, as with so many other things. We can’t go teach division until addition and subtraction are mastered. But it’s also a heck of a lot easier to explain to a 16 year old than a 10 year old that, in fact, ratios are fractions and fractions are ratios. They’re just different expressions of the same base idea. The concept of something being the same but different is easier to grasp that little later.
So, anyone know?
Given the state of the academy I doubt this is something anyone has ever bothered to study – far more important to detail this year’s woke necessities – formally but still, anyone know?