Sunday, April 25th, 2010
There are a couple of problems with 60 Minutes’s Brain Power report:
1. This isn’t The Matrix nor do these pills make people “smarter”; they temporary provide chemical therapy for focus. The persistent use of “smart drugs” is deceptive.
2. The report should have been framed against testing as a means of measuring learning in the context of temporary focus for recall. None of these “learning therapies” would be any use in the kind of curriculum I’m used to working with. The true test would be to 1. give students the same test test a week later 2. provide students a long-term project that reflects unscripted problem. Drugs will not assist in this case.
3. No differentiation was make between knowledge and test taking. The report didn’t examine the nature of real learning at all. Not good.