Teaching for Relevance

Many teachers in our longitudinal study have stressed the importance of relevance in learning. In re-reading Jane Austen’s novels recently I’ve noticed a similar concern. In Mansfield Park especially, she wrote at length about young people whose schooling gave them knowledge of ancient Roman emperors, the river systems of Europe, and the plots of classical plays but little understanding of society, human nature, or how to live. The relevance of schooling today is in danger of declining with the current emphasis on teaching a narrow band of knowledge that’s easily identified and tested. Clive BeckClive photo2

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