Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What if we teach engineering before reading?

My first interaction with Chris Rogers was at Florida State University in fall, 1997 where he gave a lecture quite similar to the one in the following video:

After the lecture, my advisor at the time, a control theory researcher, was so excited he came to our lab and asked if he should go ahead and buy a lego kit for us to do controls experiments with.

In the video, Chris wonders why its important to us that every kid knows how to read Harry Potter before age 8 but not understand how a car works? He argues that as kids go through adolescence, their curiosity shifts from the physical to the social. So first 3-4 years of education must focus on engineering before the social aspects grab kids' attention.

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