“One Nation Under Taught” by Vince M. Bertram

There are points in this book that remind me a lot of “Nurture Shock” and “How Not to be Wrong.” Firstly, there needs to be a shift in the education culture where we no longer just measure a child’s academic achievement by their performance on standardized tests. At the same time, re-thinking and developing new metrics to measure academic success are needed. However, making sure that children are still given time to be children and not expected to be prodigies at the age of three is still necessary to nurture their developing creativity and wonder with the world.

  1. This is a call to nurture our children’s natural curiosity, inspire them, and insist they use their minds to solve problems. This book asks us to rethink the way we think about school. It asks that we abandon the mindset that second grade is a preparation for third grade or of teaching content merely to prepare for a test. Instead, I am asking for a new mindset about school, a mindset that our schools can be places of confidences, places that inspire a love of learning, promote curiosity, and convince students that skills and knowledge matter not because they are on a test or necessary for next year, but because they matter for a lifetime.
  2. We also need to be honest with our children and tell them that while they can choose which path to take, others will likely decide whether they will get paid to do it. Life will be easier “much easier” if they have the appropriate skills aligned with the greatest opportunities.
  3. Young minds form academic attitudes and prejudices early. Turn a student off from math or science in an early grade and you can almost never make up for that. Turn a student on in an early grade, and the possibilities are endless.
  4. Students use the design process and learn to problem solve, think critically, and work collaboratively. They learn that discoveries come from taking risks, and trial and error.
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