[For those of you concerned about the lack of instructions of the SOL Cards.]
Texting in classrooms is a catastrophic development in education.
But, this is not an article about teachers “cutting the leash” — commandeering cellphones or encasing classrooms in Faraday cages… This is an article about the detrimental injustice of text-based education.
Neocortex, Limbic Systems, Cerebellum.
Logic, Emotion, Instinct.
There are variations within most of these “3-brain” models, but the common theme is this:
While we might like to believe that our thoughts and behaviors are managed by our neocortex and “logic” but, the reality is:
The majority of our thoughts and behaviors are driven by emotion and instinct.
only to be justified by logic and consciousness after the fact. As Simon Sinek says:
“The neocortex is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains, and our limbic brains are responsible for all of our feelings, like trust and loyalty. It’s also responsible for all human behavior, all decision-making, and it has no capacity for language.”
RESPONSIBLE FOR BEHAVIOR… NO CAPACITY FOR LANGUAGE.
Humans, like most living creatures, are primarily driven by Emotion and Instinct.
Logic and language exist as byproducts attempting to maintain cohesion amidst the forces of emotion and instinct.
Remove Logic and Language from Education?
This is not a case against logic.
The message is this:
- Humans, as a general rule, are shaped by emotion and instincts.
- There are people who thrive upon the use of language and logic.
- But, these people are outliers — the statistical minority. And perhaps, more importantly…
- These outliers thrive upon the use of language and logic because of their emotional and instinctual conditioning which predisposed them to utilize language and logic in an abnormal fashion.
So what does this mean?
It means that our educational systems are designed by the few anomalous people who were fortunate enough to have an emotional foundation which drove them to excel within a language based, text based system (academia).
This self-selecting propensity; for text based learners to rise to positions of power within a text based system… this system creates a compounding disparity brought about by a self-selection-feedback-loop.
[Look at that sentence right there! That is the product of a mind emotionally and instinctually driven to utilize text, language, and “reason” — and that is not the median human experience — not by a longshot!]
And that’s the point. If you are reading this, and finding this text based information interesting and engaging — YOU ARE EMOTIONALLY PREDISPOSED TO TEXT BASED LEARNING!
But, that is not common for the majority of humans!
It is far more common for people to have negative emotional and instinctual experiences with reading, writing, arithmetic, and other academic versions of “reason”.
Unfortunately, the emotional aversion to text based learning is nearly incomprehensible to teachers, administrators, and most people in positions of power and influence (because, after all, most people in positions of power and influence, particularly in academia attained their positions because of their emotional predisposition to excel in a text-based education system).
You don’t know what you don’t know.
So, if you are a teacher who believes that “learning” is something that anyone can do, as long as they apply themselves… but, you lack the awareness of your pre-cognitive, emotional advantages which drove you to excel in school initially… you can try 20 different textbooks, but if your student lacks the preconditioned emotional motivators to read and learn… they aren’t going to learn… they are going to get frustrated, reinforcing their negative bias against reading and learning while you gnash your teeth and pull out your hair, convinced about the simplicity of the subject… all the while misunderstanding this:
The subject may be simple, but your content and method of delivery are emotionally and instinctually WRONG.
The world of education has failed to realize:
teachers are not simply arbiters of learning in a world full of learners;
Teachers are anomalies, attempting to communicate with people who, emotionally, are wired in a way which diametrically opposes their world-view.
[A better example might be this: Snakes scare most people. But, an anomalous group of people have positive emotions associated with snakes — this drives them to become snake collectors and herpetologists. Allowing academics to create a universal education system makes as much sense as allowing herpetologists to create a universal daycare system.]
Teaching Out of Text and Rewiring Emotions for Learning
The two primary problems are:
- An educational system designed by a minority in a way which only serves a minority.
- Students who want to learn, but lack the awareness of their own emotional biases which counteract their learning objectives.
Accordingly, the solutions involve:
- Creating more experiential learning environments and diversifying educators.
- Provide democratic learning opportunities which allow students to learn in a way best suited for their learning style.
- Enable parents and students with methods to discharge negative emotional biases and foster positive emotional associations with logic, reading, and other executive functions.
Further Content to Inform Those Looking to Disrupt the Broken Education System
- Adel Diamond (executive function and learning through experience. Tools of the Mind.)
- The First 1000 Days (compounding disparity in cognitive function and social-economic status born from initial conditions)
- Self Organized Learning
- Sir Ken Robinson
- Outliers — compounding disparity
- Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)
- A3 Bruce Nappi
- Jane Mcgonigal
- The Biology of Desire (and how learning can be reinforced or avoided based upon the development of the same structures which enforce or prevent substance abuse)
- Deep Survival (and how the amygdala can drive behavior against logic or self-interest)