Schools should stop teaching “googleable” facts and information

Schools should stop teaching “googleable” facts and information

I have struggled the past few weeks trying to rap my brain around this concept and how schools would function without direct teaching. 

The key factor was taking into account if it means stopping all google-able facts or just some that others deem unnecessary. The other factor is the difference between teaching google-able facts and testing on google-able facts. The final factor is what actually is a google-able fact, as we discussed in class you can learn just about anything online but technically learning how to throw a ball is not a fact but rather a skill. 

The article Memorizing the times tables is damaging to your child’s mind explains it is better if students are deep in their learning and not passively giving answers to math question. Now as a middle year’s teacher I am all for having inquiry learning within mathematics and science but for elementary students who need the foundational information for the rest of their life, how do we make sure they have this strong foundation. 

The articleWhy memorizing facts can be a keystone to learning explains 

“Memorizing facts can build the foundations for higher thinking and problem solving. Constant recitation of times tables might not help children understand mathematical concepts but it may allow them to draw on what they have memorized in order succeed in more complex mental arithmetic. Memorization, therefore, produces a more efficient memory, taking it beyond its limitations of capacity and duration.”

Though this may not all be true it explains the importance of students having both memorization and understanding of concepts prior to expanding their knowledge. 

According to the Huffpost,going back to the basics of memorization is not the best. Instead they say to keep these 4 areas in mind with teaching. 

1) reading and writing; 2) numeracy; 3) creativity; and 4) health and nutrition

Based on this article I would include facts like boiling point of water and the year that Canada became a country redundant since they can be googled. 

Something that was not discussed within the debate was adaptations, for a student with dyscalculia wrote learned math facts are important because they are unable to connect three dots with the written number three. But on the other hand many students, such as those with ADHD or dyslexia, do not have the ability/ it is difficult to memorize and then give that information back. 

In the end I believe schools do not need to assess on facts but rather on skills and if a student is confident and competent in completing their goal. If a student is able to learn through inquiry and problem solving techniques that is great, but we need to be recognized that some students are missing curial information that will need to be fill in at some point. 

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