The government wants to wire every classroom in America to the Internet, but is that smart? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, how computers affect children's minds, for better and for worse. Also, one boy's coming-of-age story in cyberspace. And psychologist Howard Gardner on the fine art of teaching truth, beauty and goodness.
Leon Botstein is President of Bard College and the author of "Jefferson's Children," in which he makes the case that we should get rid of high school. He tells Judith Strasser that the tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, is an example of the trouble with high school. And we hear some John McCutcheon music about school.SEGMENT 2:
Psychologist Jane Healy was one of the first educators to put computers in the classroom, but she's changed her mind. Healy tells Jim Fleming that too many classroom computers are being used for fun and games and do nothing to promote real learning. In fact, they may have negative effects on children's development. Healy's book is "Failure to Connect." Also, David Bennahum was a geek and proud of it. He writes now for Wired and Spin magazines and has written a memoir called "Extra Life: Coming of Age in Cyberspace." He tells Steve Paulson that in his childhood, computers provided an unexplored frontier of learning where young people could out-perform adults, and that computers helped kids develop social relationships. And we hear Lou and Peter Berryman sing their version of school.SEGMENT 3:
Howard Gardner is an educational psychologist at Harvard University. He tells Steve Paulson that schools are obsessed with teaching facts, and that their focus ought to be truth, beauty and goodness. School's real job, he says, is to teach children how to be good people. His latest book is "The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Understand."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-05-23-A.
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